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Writing Critique Groups: Everything You Need to Know

Krystal Craiker headshot

Krystal N. Craiker

Writing Critique Groups

When someone asks me for my best piece of writing advice, I usually say, “Join a critique group.”

Since joining a writing critique group, my writing has improved by leaps and bounds. Critiques are an important part of my editing process because they help me figure out what really needs improving. But critiquing others is just as important for my writing process. I learn so much by reading other people’s work and listening to what other people say about the same pieces.

There is a lot to consider before joining a critique group, but this guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Critique Groups Versus Critique Partners

How does it work, maintaining constructive criticism, how do i find a critique group, final thoughts.

I’ll be the first to admit that having a group of writers read and critique your work is terrifying. I still get a little anxious when it’s my turn to be read. Many people prefer having a critique partner instead of a whole group for this reason.

In my critique group, Fiction Crafters, we all have different strengths and weaknesses. As a result, we all pick up on different areas for improvement. We joke that we need T-shirts that have our taglines on it. Mine would say, “More action beats!” One of my friends always asks about character motivation. My co-admin is the queen of showing instead of telling.

Likewise, it’s easy to see which issues need the most attention when more than one person mentions it. When only one person reads your work, they may see an issue where there isn’t one. When you have five out of six writers pointing out a problem, it’s definitely worth fixing.

Critique partners and critique groups are not a replacement for an editor. An editor is there to give you detailed feedback to fine-tune your manuscript, but they’re still just one person. I’ve written before on why I believe in delivering a polished manuscript to my editors. Critiques help you polish your work.


Every critique group will have a different process for critiques. I’ll explain a few ways that a critique group can be structured, but I’ll go into detail about my group.

Here is what you can expect from most groups:

  • a word count limit
  • a method for delivering critiques
  • deadlines and time limits

My critique group meets every week. I know that is a commitment that might not be an option for many people, but it’s also my main social outlet. Currently, we have eight active members. We read two writers a week, who submit up to 5,000 words. The deadline to submit is Sunday night, and we meet on Wednesdays, so everyone has plenty of time to read.

We spend the first part of the evening socializing and eating. Each writer then gets forty-five minutes to be critiqued. We pass a talking stick and each person gets around four minutes to critique uninterrupted. Then the writer of the piece gets a chance to ask more questions or clarify things that the critiques brought up. The rest of the forty-five minutes is spent in open discussion about the work.

We submit through a shared Google Drive. Some of our members find it helpful to fill out a feedback form while others prefer to leave in-line comments.

Other groups might do all critiques online through a platform like Google Drive and never meet in person. I’ve also seen critique groups where you read your piece out loud and then you receive critiques. There’s no right or wrong way.

Like all groups, Fiction Crafters has had some growing pains. We’ve set up some guidelines to keep all feedback constructive and kind.

Types of Critiques

One of the things that has helped the most is classifying types of critiques. We used editing definitions for developmental, content, and line edits. Almost all critiques fall into these three categories. We ask that the author who is being critiqued specify what types of critique they want.

  • Developmental edits: major plot and character issues.
  • Content edits: more in-depth issues about plot, character, setting, pacing, etc.
  • Line edits: phrasing, word choice, literary devices, etc.

These are our adaptations of widely-accepted editing definitions. You may have heard different terms for these. I think of these like an inverted pyramid. Developmental edits are the big issues, and the edits get narrower from there.

Why do we do this? We have found it makes our feedback more refined and helpful. If I’m submitting a first draft, I don’t necessarily need line edits. I may scrap the whole chapter! If this is a refined draft that has been through multiple rounds of edits, I’ve moved past most of my developmental issues.

We also limit proofreading critiques. Proofreading for spelling, grammar, and typographical errors is the last step for a manuscript because so much gets changed in early drafts. Between software like ProWritingAid and a professional proofreader, we don’t need to spend valuable critique time on comma mistakes. Offering a general feedback for repeated mistakes like “you might want to review the past perfect tense” or “look up comma splices” is fine, though.

Kind and Useful

Critiques should be two things: kind and useful. Strong negative language like “I hate this” or “this is terrible” should be avoided. It’s also not helpful to tell a writer that everything they did is perfect.

Indie author Rosalind Wulf taught our critique group some great tips for giving balanced critiques. She said that critiques should have meat, bones, and fat. Bones are concrete examples from the text.This makes sure that critiques are specific. Meat is the specific feedback about the text. Fat are the overall compliments.

Here’s an example from Rosalind. The fat is highlighted, the bones are underlined, and the meat is bolded.

  • “ I really loved this whole chapter. I feel like the early scene where your character has a breakdown really made your character likeable . The pacing of the last part of the chapter, where your other character is fighting the big bad, felt a little fast.”


Depending on where you live, there may already be established critique groups that you can join. Try searching Facebook, Meetup, or Eventbrite. If there are other types of writing groups in your area, connect with them. They might know of a critique group that is accepting members.

NaNoWriMo is a great way to meet other writers and find writing groups. That's how I found mine (pictured above). Go to write-ins in your region during November. That’s how my group got started! Also check the calendars at your local libraries and bookstores. Online critique groups are another option.

If you can’t find one that fits, start one!

Starting and Running a Critique Group

The first thing you need to decide is how often you want to meet. Weekly is a heavy commitment. Monthly is more realistic. But you can also meet biweekly, bimonthly, or quarterly. It’s really up to you.

You also need to decide where to meet. We have a reserved table at a local cafe. You can meet at someone’s house or at a library. Just make sure wherever you meet is big enough and quiet enough.

If you want to run an online critique group, there are several great ways to meet. You can meet through video conferencing with programs like Zoom or Google Hangouts. A Facebook group is another easy option for written critiques. Discord allows you to have voice calls or a chatroom. Slack is another great chatroom-style program.

Find other writers in your area. Go to writing events and book events. Ask around on social media. Do you want a large group open to anyone? Do you just want three close friends? How will you accept new members?

Learn from my mistakes: have clear rules in place and adapt as necessary. You’ll avoid hurt feelings from unkind and unhelpful critiques.

One of our biggest rules is “read to be read.” If you want to be critiqued, you must also make sure you are reading the other writers’ work on a regular basis. Don’t be that kid in a group project! Pull your weight!

Critique groups are invaluable for writers. If no one ever critiques our work, how do we improve? But I always say I learn even more from critiquing than being critiqued. I have learned what other writers notice when they read. We all bring in our own strengths and our own expertise. Critiques often turn into craft discussions, which benefit every writer in the group.

I challenge you to add critiques to your writing process. Your craft will grow in ways you didn’t know were possible.

writing group critique guidelines

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Krystal N. Craiker is the Writing Pirate, an indie romance author and blog manager at ProWritingAid. She sails the seven internet seas, breaking tropes and bending genres. She has a background in anthropology and education, which brings fresh perspectives to her romance novels. When she’s not daydreaming about her next book or article, you can find her cooking gourmet gluten-free cuisine, laughing at memes, and playing board games. Krystal lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, child, and basset hound.

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General Critique Guidelines

At the Writers’ Loft, we take community very seriously. Please try to give feedback in a way that can be heard and only for the motive of strengthening a peer’s manuscript. It’s a great rule of thumb to start with the positives, and move into those areas that confused you or pulled you out of the manuscript. Many writer s take offense if you tell them how they should change the manuscript. Instead, highlight what you think are missed opportunities in the ms or things to be careful of.

For instance, instead of telling someone how to change the sentence It was a cold day, you could point out the sentence and say, “be careful of telling, not showing.” Or, “this might be a missed opportunity to see the day through the main character’s eyes.”

Tips for giving criticism

Arrive with the appropriate mindset: Please arrive with the attitude that we are all here to help others (and ourselves) get to the next level in our writing. If you don’t have that attitude, then this group is not for you.

Use the sandwich method: start with something you liked, then provide constructive criticism, then end with something you liked.

Use “I” statements: It’s better to say “I found this part boring” not “This part was boring.”

Be specific: If you “found this part boring,” explain why you found it boring. Don’t just say you found it boring.

Offer suggestions: If you “found this part boring,” offer ways to make it not boring.

Use polite phrasing: If you “found this part boring,” it might be nicer to say “I found this part a bit slow,” or “this part pulled me out of the story…” and then explain why.

Never criticize the writer: Discuss the manuscript, not the writer. If you “found this part boring,” never tell the writer “you write boring manuscripts.”

Don’t rewrite in your own voice: Suggesting word choices or rephrasin g to clarify unclear sections can often be helpful, but do not rewrite paragraphs, entire stanzas, or pages in your own voice.

Don’t take ownership: The writer makes the ultimate decision on whether to accept or reject any criticism. Even if you feel certain a change needs to be made, do not push the writer.

Be nice & show respect: Even if you hate a piece of writing, the writer has invested time and effort on the manuscript. Phrase your criticism in a way that wouldn’t offend you if it were your writing.

Tips for receiving criticism

No draft is perfect: While you may feel strongly about a first, second, or tenth draft, it likely needs improvement. While the number of changes you make hopefully shrinks with each revision, don’t stress if the editor returns with lots of red markings.

Don’t take it personally: Criticism of your work is not criticism of you as a person. While you have put a lot of effort into the manuscript, try to maintain a separation between you and your writing.

Refrain from getting defensive in the moment:  You don’t need to defend your writing. Nobody is attacking it. Let it go if you don’t agree with someone’s critique.

Everyone has an opinion: You might think it’s perfect, others think it’s too long, and still others think it’s too short. Learn to classify voices offering criticism so you can decide which trumps which.

Don’t abuse your power: While the ultimate decision of what goes into your manuscript is yours, don’t dismiss criticism that is harsh or might be difficult to implement. Sometimes following the hardest advice can be most worth it.

Listen: Don’t just hear, listen – especially if it’s something you don’t like. Often the most useful suggestions are the ones you find distasteful at first. Try others’ ideas out. Be open-minded and challenge your assumptions. The more you listen, rewrite, and see improvements in your work, the easier it will become to accept criticism in the future.

Wait: After hearing criticism, let it sit for a day or a week before going back and revising or thinking about changes. You should only make changes in your manuscript based on what rings truest to you.

Remember that ultimately, ownership is yours: As Neil Gaiman said: “When people tell you there’s something wrong with a story, they’re almost always right. When they tell what it is that’s wrong and how it can be fixed, they’re almost always wrong.” Listen to what people think doesn’t work for your story, and then figure out how you want to fix it.

References and Additional Resources


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writing group critique guidelines

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A Beginner’s Guide to Critique Groups

by WB Intern Macy Lane

“Spend too much time alone with your own words, and your writing grows anemic, in dire need of a transfusion.” — Celeste Ng

writing group critique guidelines

I’ve never allowed myself permission to say “I”m a writer,” out loud. Until now. Recently, I decided to make some bold life choices to focus on my craft full-time. As I settled into my new normal, I quickly realized that one of the main ways to improve my writing was to be an active participant in a critique group.

A critique group is a small group of writers who gather regularly to share their writing with others. It is an organized, structured way to receive, as well as give, feedback on writing. The thought of sharing my writing with others to evaluate terrified me. Finally, I realized that if I ever wanted to share my words with the whole world, I definitely needed to be able to share them with a group of writers whose main goal was to celebrate growth. 

Here are the steps I followed once I made the decision to allow critique groups into my writing routine.

Be Brave, Go Public

The writing community is robust and supportive. There are many places to turn when looking for other writers to help you along your way. To begin with, I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators , or SCBWI. There are different levels of membership, as well as a wealth of knowledge about writing. It was through this group that I reached out and found one of my critique groups. I posted on their community boards asking if anyone would be willing to join me on this journey. In my post, I was clear about my level of experience, my goals, and my commitment to writing so that members with similar needs could reach out to me. There are other organizations that you can join as well to meet writers very much like you!

Be Open-Minded and Flexible

When strangers decide to form a group, there are many different viewpoints and people to consider. Members of the group work to find a common meeting time, then establish the structure and norms for how the group will be organized. In my limited experience with critique groups, I’ve found there is always a person who naturally slides into the role of the organizer. As the dynamics of the group are falling into place, it’s important to stay open-minded about protocol and flexible should any adjustments need to be made.

Before the first meeting, it helped me to research critique groups.  Specifically, I was curious about etiquette, guidelines, and how to navigate the sometimes rocky road of providing feedback on others’ writing. A fellow writer shared the SCBWI Critique Group Guidelines with me, and it truly helped a lot. Ultimately, once the critique group is established, you can finetune expectations based on your individual group’s needs. 

writing group critique guidelines

These days everyone is beyond busy. It is important to enter into a critique group prepared.  There will be meetings scheduled, deadlines to reach, as well as the need to set aside time to critique others’ writing. Prepare yourself for that, both mentally and logistically.  Keep your calendar nearby and update it often. In a critique group, everyone deserves a fair share of the attention. Essentially, you want to give as good as you get, and being prepared is what makes that work.

Be Vulnerable

It takes a lot of courage to share your writing with the world, especially with a group of people you have just met and whose primary purpose is to give you feedback. The manuscripts that we have labored over and loved for a long time are precious to us.  But, they may not always receive the reaction you’d imagined.  It can be uncomfortable to sit and have others go through your writing in detail, but I promise that if you are vulnerable and open to encouragement, you will come out better on the other side. 

These are a few tips I’ve recently added to my writing toolbag.  I hope you find them helpful.  While I am still nervous about my critique groups, I am grateful that there are others who understand me and have many of the same dreams and goals. 

Share your thoughts on critique groups in the comment section below.

About the Author

writing group critique guidelines

Macy Lane is a lifelong reader and writer currently residing in Austin, TX. Words have always been magical to her and the authors above are but a few who have genuinely and truly impacted her life. In time, she hopes to share her own stories with the world and perhaps spark the love of reading and writing in others. She plans to do this from the school bus she and her husband are converting into a tiny home so they can travel across the country!

One thought on “ A Beginner’s Guide to Critique Groups ”

I need to find a group and be vulnerable. Very informative.

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General Critique Group Guidelines

General hsw critique group guidelines, the purpose/goal of a critique group is to get feedback from fellow writers to help improve your writing craft and/or manuscript. analyzing the work of other writers will also help you develop better editing skills; seeing their mistakes will better help you see yours. no bullying, harassing or belittling will be tolerated – by anyone., responsibility of the person giving the critique….

1. Start off with something positive, no matter how small. 2. Be professional and focus on the writing – not the writer. Better yet, focus on the story and not just the words. 3. Do not try to make someone else’s story into something you’d write. 4. Do not rewrite the story – unless it’s yours. 5. Give suggestions and not just criticisms; make notes on the manuscript, whether a hard copy or through tracking software. Be sure to return the pages to the author. 6. Be humble. Be respectful. Chances are you’re not the end-all, be-all expert on writing. Remember that.

Responsibility of the person receiving the critique…

1. Provide ample number of hard copies – if your group is a “homework” one. 2. Make sure your submission is free of as many typos/grammar errors as possible. Think of your critique group as a dry-run for an editor/agent, even if your pages are in the “early draft” stage. 3. Do not take the criticism personally. Remember the goal is to improve your writing and/or manuscript. 4. Ask questions to get clarification on comments, but do not argue, justify or defend. 5. Take time to consider all the comments, decide which apply to your work, then move forward with your revisions. 6. Be proud. Giving your pages to others to critique takes guts. Own that.

Contact Linda Enos, [email protected] , with questions/concerns or if you’d like to join a group.

13 best practices for creative writing critique groups

The value of quality creative writing critique for authors should go without saying. When you write, you’re full of intention and ideas and inspiration. But readers don’t get that. Readers get only what’s on the page. Crit helps you get some distance from your writing so you can see more clearly what really is there in your text.

For an author, receiving crit can be hard—hopes and intentions getting cut down with just a few words. “You need to develop a thick skin,” they say. I say you mainly need to learn how to get some distance from the material.

Giving good and useful critique is also hard. It’s a learned skill. Everybody has an opinion, but not everyone knows how to give quality crit. What most find is that learning how to provide criticism an author can use makes them a better author.

This is why every author working on a project or projects can benefit from belonging to a crit group.

What makes a good crit group? #

After years of writing workshops in college and grad school, teaching a couple as an adjunct, and working in a handful of crit groups both good and not so much, I’ve seen a wide variety of styles and ground rules for author groups engaging in critique.

General approach #

Most crit groups fall into one of two basic categories.

  • Reading aloud. People on a rotating or productivity basis bring pages in and read aloud (or better, someone else reads aloud and the writer must listen).
  • Pre-submit and discuss. Everyone in the group distributes pages in advance of meeting, everyone reads everything, marking up the printouts (or digital files) with comments. Then, in the actual meeting you have timeboxed discussion on each takes place.

Reading out loud #

The first method was how some of my best writing workshops were run. There’s nothing like reading your text out loud to everyone. You hear your words with their ears. Awkward phrases, repetitions, overwriting, and errors leap up off the page. Your first time can be mortifying.

But it can be downright terrifying to hear someone else read your text aloud. Having to listen to your prose without any hint of performance to convey intention can reveal unintended line readings. You the author must sit there at the mercy of your own words there on the page.

The catch for this out loud approach is the time requirement. Reading out loud is slow. You can cover only so much material per hour—fine perhaps for a 3-hour workshop meeting 2–3 times a week, but maybe not so helpful for a crit group meeting two hours every two weeks.

Pre-submission (before crit group meeting) #

For a group of authors who are working on longer projects or a number of shorts, I think the second type of group can work best. Each person emails out their pages (up to a mutually agreed-upon word count) 4–7 days in advance of the gathering. Then your meeting time can focus completely on discussion of the work. This way, you can cover a lot more material.

Just remember that you’ll have to take time reading and critiquing everyone else’s pages, so the time commitment is more than just the actual meeting.

That covers the logistics. But what about the content of the crit itself. The first thing to remember is:

Critiquing is a learned skill #

“Everyone has a right to an opinion,” right? Sure. But crit requires more than having an opinion. It involves learning how to read someone else’s pages and provide helpful feedback that is informative, clear, and respects the author. Vague judgmental comments like “it sucks” are not helpful. Kid-gloves comments are not helpful either.

The goals of crit groups and workshops are:

  • the writer gets quality feedback; and
  • everyone learns to critique better.

Nobody is born being able to critique well. You have to learn from doing it. Guidelines can help.

8 Recommended Rules #

  • Keep the group small. 4–6 people can work best, I feel. Large groups can be difficult to manage unless you’re meeting frequently, and that requires a larger time commitment, not only for the meetings but to read all those pages of submissions.
  • As an author, don’t submit raw pages that you know have problems. Make it as good as you can first. That way feedback will hopefully reveal to you things you don’t know rather than just things you already know need to be fixed. It also means that your crit partners will (hopefully) enjoy reading your submissions more.
  • Members who don’t participate are dead weight and should be asked to take a leave of absence and come back when they’re refreshed and ready to participate.
  • Authors need to learn to separate themselves from their text. Everyone writes crap now and then. Don’t take crit as judgement of you as a writer. This is only about these particular pages.
  • Matching genres can be very helpful. On the other hand, members coming from other diverse genres can be helpful too, as long as nobody is imposing their own genre tropes onto other genres.
  • Virtual groups are possible, but work best with video (Skype, Hangouts, etc). Something about seeing each other helps. Audio-only sessions can feel less cohesive. In my experience it’s harder to sustain.
  • Open online “crit sessions” can be the most difficult and least productive. Readers are reading once and are asked to give what amounts to snap responses. Experienced members (working authors and editors) tend to adapt to this environment better, but it’s still hard. For authors sharing, off-the-cuff feedback coming from random folks can be hard to process. Bad (as in least-helpful) crit is more likely when random folks can jump in. This is perhaps not for the newbie.
  • Authors must be prepared to hear disappointing news. Feeling bummed is a natural response. Roll through it and when feeling clear, review your notes and decide what’s most helpful. Don’t get defensive. Hear the feedback with an open mind. You have final cut. You can reject any crit. This is your story.

5 Helpful Gudelines #

I won’t call these rules. Consider these my preferences.

  • Critique the writing, not the author. This goes all the way to not saying, “You wrote…” Rather, stick to the text . “This paragraph…”
  • Include comments about what’s working, what’s really great. Some groups even have a rule that you always open by saying something nice, but this isn’t about coddling author ego. It’s about helping an author who may have lost any sense of what’s working anymore. Comments about questions or anticipations you have on the first read can be very informative to the author.
  • Don’t solve problems for the author. Having a group brainstorming “better” solutions can lead the author away from her own story. Sometimes it can be an absolutely demoralizing process, destroying the author’s faith in her own story instincts. Instead, use “bad examples” of solutions to help illustrate the problem and how the author might approach fixing it.
  • Don’t ask the author to explain herself. This invites the unwelcome problem solving noted above. And it cultivates defensiveness on the author’s part. Crit is about the text. Those offering criticism aren’t there to judge. What matters in crit is what’s on the page.
  • The author should remain silent until end of discussion. Then the author can ask follow-up questions. iAs an author, you should come to crit with some specific questions in mind. Ask those questions if nobody addressed them in their own feedback.

These are my druthers, drawn from experiences that reflect great privileges I was able to enjoy. My conclusions to date are nowhere near universal, but I hope some of these are helpful.

What are your thoughts?

The Writing King

Writing Critique Groups: 10 Incredible Techniques for Using them to Enhance Your Writing Skills

Writing Critique Groups

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Make a Living as a Professional Self-Published Author

Writing critique groups are particularly beneficial for honing your craft without a significant monetary investment. They bring together individuals with a common passion for writing, offering a safe space to discuss, explore, and challenge each other’s work. You’ll receive genuine advice from peers who are equally invested in improving their skills, making these groups an enriching experience for all involved.

However, participating in a writing critique group isn’t just about receiving feedback; it’s also an opportunity to critique others’ work, which in turn improves your analytical skills and deepens your understanding of the craft. Giving and receiving critique in these groups will prepare you for dealing with editors and readers in the professional world, making you a stronger, more resilient writer.

The Functionality of Writing Critique Groups

For those wondering how to join writing critique groups online, it’s important to first understand how these groups operate. Digital platforms like Meetup.com have significantly simplified the search for suitable groups, making it easier than ever to find your perfect match. Usually, a writing critique group involves each member bringing a piece of their written work, be it a few pages or chapters, which is then constructively critiqued by the rest of the group. This feedback is invaluable in improving writing skills, as it provides fresh perspectives and highlights any blind spots in your writing.

Starting Your Own Writing Critique Group

If you can’t find a writing critique group that suits your needs, don’t despair! Starting a writing critique group is an exciting alternative. Tailoring a group to fit your styles, or formats that matter to you. The digital platform Meetup.com can be a convenient tool for organizing your group. Although there is a yearly fee, you’ll find locally interested members, saving you the marketing legwork.

For instance, my experience using Meetup to establish a Science Fiction themed writing critique group was notably straightforward. It took around six months to assemble a diverse group of roughly a dozen members. Once the group was consistently meeting, the necessity for the Meetup platform dwindled, and I was able to discontinue the paid service.

Here are some reasons you may want to start your own group.

  • Customized Focus: You can create a group that aligns with your specific writing interests, whether it’s a particular genre, style, or subject matter.
  • Flexible Meeting Times: When you are the one in charge, you can schedule meetings at times that are convenient for you and other interested writers.
  • Control Over Group Size: Starting your own group allows you to determine the size of the group, allowing for a more intimate setting or a larger, more diverse group depending on your preference.
  • Location Convenience: If there aren’t any existing groups in your local area, starting your own eliminates the need for long-distance travel.
  • Creation of a Supportive Environment: As the group’s founder, you can create a supportive, respectful, and collaborative environment, fostering the kind of community that best helps you grow as a writer.
  • Building Leadership Skills: Leading a group can be a great way to develop and refine your leadership and organizational skills, which are useful in any professional context.
  • Encouragement of Regular Writing: The responsibility of managing a group and meeting regularly can act as a motivation to write consistently and meet your writing goals.
  • Networking Opportunities: Creating your own group provides a platform for connecting with like-minded individuals who could turn out to be important professional contacts or even lifelong friends.

Starting your own writing critique group, therefore, can provide an array of benefits and opportunities, far beyond the simple prospect of receiving feedback on your writing.

Writing critique groups established in this way provide a unique and personalized touch to the feedback and critique process. They also allow you to connect with a community that aligns more closely with your writing interests.

Guidelines for Participating in Writing Critique Groups

How do yo critique writing?

When providing critique, remember these golden rules: focus on the writing, not the writer; offer specific feedback, not vague or general comments; always pair critique with encouragement and positivity. Even if a piece of writing doesn’t resonate with you, it’s important to find positive elements to highlight before diving into areas that could use improvement.

To make the most of your experience in writing critique groups, consider following these seven guidelines:

  • Give Specific Feedback: Aim to provide detailed and precise feedback, rather than general or vague suggestions. This will help the writer to make targeted improvements in their work.
  • Maintain a Positive Attitude: Constructive criticism should be just that – constructive. While it’s important to point out areas for improvement, also highlight the strengths of the piece.
  • Focus on Content, not Grammar: While spelling and grammar are important, the main focus of a critique should be on the content, including the plot, character development, and overall structure of the piece.
  • Allow Everyone to Speak: Ensure that everyone in the group has an opportunity to provide feedback. This helps to create a diverse range of opinions and prevents any one person from dominating the conversation.
  • Respect Confidentiality: If a member of the group is a ghostwriter, it’s crucial to respect the confidentiality of their work. Unauthorized sharing of ghostwritten material is a severe breach of professional ethics.
  • Listen to Feedback: Receiving feedback can sometimes be as challenging as giving it. Take on board the constructive criticisms and suggestions offered by your peers, and resist the urge to defend your work. Remember, the goal is to improve.
  • Stay Engaged: Regular attendance and active participation in the group can greatly enhance your experience. The more you invest in the group, the more you stand to gain.

These guidelines can help create a supportive and productive environment in writing critique groups, benefiting every member and improving everyone’s writing skills.

Avoiding Pitfalls in Writing Critique Groups

While writing critique groups can offer a wealth of benefits, they also come with their own set of challenges. For example, focusing too much on grammar and spelling can detract from the more crucial aspects such as style, plot, and character development. Also, it’s important to respect the writer’s feelings – avoid making any insulting remarks or unnecessary criticisms. Remember, everyone is there to learn and improve.

Recognizing these pitfalls can help you navigate your group more effectively and ensure a beneficial and rewarding experience. Here are six common pitfalls you might encounter:

  • Inadequate Feedback: Sometimes, members may provide vague or nonspecific feedback, making it difficult to discern exactly what needs improvement. Constructive criticism should be specific, direct, and offer clear suggestions for improvement.
  • Negativity Overload: While the purpose of a critique is to identify areas of improvement, an excess of negative comments can be disheartening. A healthy balance of positive and constructive feedback is crucial to keep the morale high and the critique productive.
  • Overemphasis on Grammar and Spelling: While grammar and spelling are important, focusing too much on these aspects can sidetrack the critique from more substantial elements like plot, characters, or overall coherence.
  • Dominating Personalities: Some members may dominate the conversation, leaving little room for others to contribute their feedback. This can lead to a skewed perspective and hinder the diversity of feedback.
  • Confidentiality Breaches: Particularly relevant for ghostwriters, the unauthorized sharing of ghostwritten work in a critique group is a serious breach of trust and professional ethics.
  • Resistance to Criticism: While giving feedback is a significant part of critique groups, receiving it constructively can be challenging. A defensive attitude can prevent a writer from benefiting from the critique.

How to Critique in Writing Critique Groups

Writing Critique Groups are a great way to improve your skills

For fiction pieces, consider the consistency of the characters, the coherence of background details, and the conciseness of the plot. Ask yourself, “Can I follow the plot? Can I envision the scene? Is the storyline predictable or clichéd?” For non-fiction pieces, the focus shifts slightly. You should ask, “Is the topic clear? Is it well-explained? Did I understand the material? Are technical terms explained clearly?”

Here are some of the ways you can effectively critique in writing critique groups:

  • Begin with Positives: Start the critique by mentioning what you liked about the piece, highlighting any particular strengths or elements that stood out.
  • Be Specific: Provide specific examples from the text to back up your comments. Vague generalizations are not as useful as detailed feedback.
  • Focus on the Writing, Not the Writer: Make sure to distinguish between the work and the author. Your critique should be about the text, not personal attributes of the writer.
  • Comment on the Craft: Analyze elements of the writing craft like plot, characters, setting, dialogue, pacing, and voice, providing constructive feedback on each.
  • Address Larger Issues before Smaller Ones: It’s more beneficial to discuss overarching issues such as plot structure and character development before focusing on minor details like grammar or punctuation.
  • Be Honest but Tactful: It’s important to tell the truth about how you perceived the text, but always frame your criticisms in a respectful and considerate manner.
  • Suggest, Don’t Dictate: Remember that you are offering suggestions, not mandating changes. The author retains creative control and should decide which advice to follow.
  • Acknowledge Subjectivity: Recognize that critique is largely subjective and your perspective is just one of many. Encourage diverse feedback from the group.
  • Consider the Author’s Intent: Understand the author’s intended audience and genre. This will help frame your feedback within the context of the writer’s goals.
  • Encourage and Inspire: Always end on a positive note, emphasizing the potential you see in the work and encouraging the writer to continue refining their craft.

These are some effective ways to provide feedback in a writing critique group, creating a supportive and helpful environment for all members. Always remember, your job isn’t to give the writer a hard time, but to help them improve their work. Keep your critique specific, concise, and respectful.

Taking Criticism in Writing Critique Groups

Participating in writing critique groups also means being on the receiving end of critiques. It’s crucial to remember that critiques are not personal attacks, but tools to help you improve your work.

Never argue with the person giving the critique. Accept what’s being said, and don’t feel the need to defend yourself. Remember, you don’t have to accept all the suggestions made, but do consider them seriously. Here are some tips:

  • Stay Open-Minded: Keep an open mind when receiving feedback. Every perspective can provide valuable insights, even if it’s different from your own.
  • Remember the Goal: The ultimate goal of writing critique groups is to help you improve as a writer. Critiques aren’t personal attacks, but rather tools for growth.
  • Take Notes: During the critique session, jot down the feedback. This not only shows your respect for the person providing the critique but also helps you remember and process the advice later.
  • Don’t Defend Immediately: It’s natural to want to defend your work, but try to resist this instinct during the critique session. Just listen and absorb the feedback; you’ll have time to reflect later.
  • Ask for Clarification: If a piece of feedback isn’t clear to you, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. A good understanding of the critique is essential for your improvement.
  • Seek Specific Feedback: If you’re looking for feedback on a specific aspect of your writing, feel free to ask for it. It’s your work, and knowing what you want out of the critique can be highly beneficial.
  • Be Grateful: Always express gratitude for the feedback you receive. Every critique is an opportunity to learn and grow as a writer.
  • Reflect and Evaluate: Once the session is over, take time to reflect on the feedback you’ve received. Evaluate its applicability and decide which suggestions you want to implement in your writing.
  • Remember It’s Your Story: While critiques are invaluable, remember that it’s your story. You have the final say in what changes you make.
  • Keep Writing: Critiques can be tough, but don’t let them discourage you. Use them as motivation to keep writing and improving. The more you write, the better you’ll become.

Most importantly, have fun and see every critique as an opportunity to make your writing better. Writing critique groups are there to help you improve and grow as a writer.

A Note About Ghostwritten Works and Writing Critique Groups

Ghostwriters should bear in mind a crucial point regarding their participation in writing critique groups. Reading ghostwritten work in public, including in critique groups, is typically viewed as a serious breach of confidentiality. This is unless explicit permission has been granted by the client.

A ghostwriter who breaches confidentiality without your knowledge is not a professional.  11 Things Your Ghostwriter Doesn’t Want You to Know, Sam Tamlyn

It is highly unprofessional for a ghostwriter to read their ghostwritten material in public without prior consent. Trust and confidentiality are the pillars of the ghostwriting profession. Always respect your client’s privacy and keep their content confidential.


If you’re looking to improve your writing skills in a relaxed, supportive, and non-competitive environment, writing critique groups could be an excellent choice for you. The feedback and insights you’ll receive can greatly enhance your writing, and the relationships you’ll build with other writers can be inspiring and rewarding.

Regardless of your writing genre or level of expertise, there’s likely a writing critique group that’s a perfect fit for you. So why not take the plunge? Start exploring writing critique groups today, and see how they can help you grow as a writer.

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Fransic verso

I agree with you, it’s important to focus on the content although grammar is important. Thank you for sharing!

Ivan Carlo Jose

This is quite an interesting discovery for me. I’ve never really been part of a writing critique group but I’d love to join one to improve my writing.


I am always looking to improve my writing. This sounds like a great way to learn and gain some tips.

Ntensibe Edgar

Hhhhmmm….I think I need to get myself in a group like this. At the moment, I am not in a good position to lead one but I would love to join one where we can grow one another, as writers!


I never knew writing critique groups existed, but I love this community concept! I am going to search on meetup.com like you suggested to learn more!


My friend and I keep each other motivated without writing. We’re not afraid to tell each other the truth, brainstorm and help each other improve and it’s been an amazing experience for me!


I love the idea of a writing critique group. I’m a writer – just for myself – but I find that I tend to become enamored with what I write to a degree that just isn’t realistic.


I love this idea so much. We usually fall in love with what we’ve written, especially after we’ve gone over it a few times. It’s important to have others give it a read.


These are all really great points for participating in writing critique groups. I like that you highlighted how to be on the receiving end of the critique. Especially to never argue with the person giving the critique and accept what’s being said without needing to defend.

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Blog • Perfecting your Craft

Posted on Sep 04, 2019

49 Places to Find a Critique Circle to Improve Your Writing

Contrary to popular belief, writers aren’t solitary creatures by default. In fact, we’re often better when we write together , swapping trade secrets and exchanging manuscripts for mutual critique. Unfortunately, accidents of geography can stop us from congregating as often as we’d like. We don’t all live in literary hubs like London and NYC, so finding a critique circle in real life can be a bit of a challenge.

Luckily, you don’t have to be limited by the vagaries of place: there are plenty of online spaces where you can find writing partners ( and their excellent tips ). From the Critique Circle — the internet’s most famous writing group — to the more intimate critique groups studding the netscape, it’s easy enough to find gimlet-eyed readers ready to bring out the potential in your works-in-progress.

We’ve rounded 51 places to get feedback on your work. General writing critique groups are at the top, and genre-focused communities at the bottom. Because, to paraphrase the Starks of Winterfell , if the lone wolf dies while the pack survives, the lone writer struggles while the critique circle thrives.

Critique circles are all about working together


1. Critique Circle

Most of this list is in alphabetical order, but Critique Circle is so well-known it’s worth breaking the mold. This Iceland-based community has a no-frills aesthetic. But since it opened in 2003, it’s offered more than 700,000 critiques for over 140,000 stories. Members sign up for free and earn credits — needed to put their work up for review — by offering feedback to other users. Every 3 reviews earns you enough credits to “buy” an opportunity to post.

Freshly enrolled writers have their work scheduled in a Newbie Queue, which sends their writing out for feedback faster than the regular queue. Word to the wise: the quality of feedback can vary — especially if they come from newbie members still learning the art of constructive criticism. But experienced members stand by to help to newbies as they get comfortable with the process.

Perfect if: You want to check out the internet’s most famous critique group

2. Reedsy Writing Prompts Contest

Yes, this one is facilitated through our very site! Here at Reedsy, we host a weekly writing contest where writers are invited to submit a short story based on one of our writing prompts. Shortly after launching this contest, we noticed a cool thing happening: writers started leaving constructive criticism and feedback on one another's stories — completely un prompted. We decided we wanted to encourage this initiative, so we created a critique circle within the contest.

Here's how it works: sign up for a free Reedsy Prompts account , and submit a short story to one of our contests. Once the contest ends, you'll receive an email asking you to leave feedback on other participants' stories — and the other entrants will likewise be encouraged to leave feedback on  your story.

Perfect if: You want the opportunity to earn cash prizes as part of your critique circle experience

3. 10 Minute Novelists Facebook Group

This support group for time-crunched writers runs a weekly #BuddyDay thread every Tuesday, where members can post their work for review. Excerpts are fair game, as are blurbs , author bios, cover art, and the like. If you’d like to test drive a couple of different packages for your indie masterpiece, #BuddyDay might be a good place to start.

Even if it’s not Tuesday, 10 Minute Novelists is a great place to “hang out.” Members commiserate about how real life gets in the way of your literary dreams — and encourage each other to stick it out anyway.

Perfect if: You know you’ve got a novel inside you, but you can’t seem to carve out more than 10 minutes a day to actually write it

4. ABCTales

This free writing community lets members post their own work and comment on each others’ — think WattPad, with way less emphasis on One Direction fanfic. Discussion seems to revolve around how to write a poem to best effect, although some short story writers frequent the forums as well. The feedback tends to be earnest and encouraging. Members happily dole out congratulations at one another’s literary triumphs.

ABCTales emphasizes slow and steady writerly development more than hustling for bylines. The pieces posted on its forums likely won’t be eligible for publication at many mainstream outlets, so they tend to be exercises written for practice, or from sheer love of the craft. That said, there is a forum full of writers swapping tips for publication .

Perfect if: You want a wholesome community to help you hone your craft in a low-stakes way

5. Absolute Write Water Cooler

This sprawling writers’ forum can be a bit of a maze, but there’s a wealth of material to help you along on your writing journey. If you’re in search of critique, you’ll want to make your way to the Beta Readers, Mentors, and Writing Buddies board. It works a little like a craft-focused version of the old Craigslist Personals section. Just post a description of the piece you’re working on, and forum members who fancy giving it a beta read will get in touch.

While you’re waiting for your perfect beta reader to respond to your post, you can hang out on any of Absolute Write ’s other craft-focused message boards. Many are genre-specific: check out Now We’re Cookin’! if you’re into food writing, or Flash Fiction if you’re a fan of pith.

Perfect if: You harbor romantic fantasies of finding your One True Reader on a personals site

6. Christopher Fielden

Christopher Fielden’s website offers tons of free resources – ranging from how to do research, how to keep your creativity fresh, and advice about self-publishing. He also curates a list of writing competitions – whether you’re looking to submit a short story or a poem, there are tons of options to choose from. You can pay for a critique from his team as well and a seasoned writer like Dr. Lynda Nash or Allen Ashley will go over your short story, novel, or poem.

7. Beta Readers and Critique Partners Facebook Group

This Facebook group has been helping writers find beta readers for two years now, and it’s still going strong. Almost 500 new members joined in the last month, bringing the total up to over 7,000. Rest assured, the mods won’t tolerate any nonsense: scorched earth critiques are forbidden, and members are encouraged to be kind at all times.

The Beta Readers and Critique Partners group welcomes members of all skill levels. Participants do their best to keep in mind whether they’re reading a seasoned pro, or someone just getting started as a beta reader . Self-promotion is banned, so don’t worry about being spammed.

Perfect if: You want a group where newbies can freely mingle with seasoned pros

8. Critique It

This peer review tool works like Google Docs on steroids: a group of collaborators can work on the same project, leave each other feedback, and feel like they’re all gathered around the same desk even if they’re actually scattered across the globe. Unlike GDocs, Critique It makes it easy to drop in video and audio files as well. That way, critics can leave their feedback in whatever format they like.

It won’t actually help you find a critique group. But it will let you form one with whoever you choose — no matter where in the world they’re based.

Perfect if: You want to form a writing group with friends from afar

9. The Desk Drawer

Here’s a critique group with high standards: send out multiple submissions that haven’t been spell-checked, and the group just might kick you out. This ultra-active, email-based workshop is a perfect fit for the kind of scribblers who thrive off prompts —  and who want to use them to hone their craft in the (virtual) company of fifty-odd like-minded writers. Every week, The Desk Drawer sends out a writing exercise. Members can respond directly to the prompt with a SUB (submission) — or offer a CRIT (critique) of another writer’s response.

To stay on the mailing list, workshoppers have to send out at least three posts a month: 1 SUB and 2 CRITS, or 3 CRITS. And membership is selective: if you’d like to join, you’ll have to send in a short, 100- to 250-word writing sample based on a prompt.

Perfect if: You want some disciplined — but mutually encouraging — writing buddies to keep you honest as you build up a writing habit

10. Fiction Writers Global Facebook Group

Despite its name, this community welcomes writers of fiction and non-fiction alike, although those who work specialize in erotica are encouraged to find an alternative group. At 13 years old, it’s one of the longer-running writing communities on Facebook. The mods have laid down the law to ensure it continues to run smoothly: fundraising, self-promotion, and even memes are strictly banned.

If you’re still weighing the pros and cons of traditional versus self-publishing , Fiction Writers Global might be the perfect group for you. They have members going both these routes who are always happy to share their experiences.

Perfect if: You’re determined to go the indie route — or thinking seriously about it

11. Hatrack River Writers Workshop

This 18+, members-only workshop was founded by renowned speculative fiction writer Orson Scott Card, of Ender’s Game fame , and it’s now hosted by short fiction writer Kathleen Dalton Woodbury. Both these writers cut their teeth on genre fiction, but don’t feel limited to tales of magic and spacefaring — anything goes, except for fanfic.

At the Hatrack River Writers Workshop , members can submit the first 13 lines of a WIP for review — an exercise designed to make sure the story hooks the reader as efficiently as possible . A loosely structured Writing Class forum offers prompts, called “assignments,” designed to help blocked writers start (or finish) stalled works.

Perfect if: You want to polish your story’s opening to a mirror-shine

12. Inked Voices

Unlike the cozy, Web 1.0 vibes of older online critique groups, Inked Voices is as sleek as they come, with cloud-based functionality and an elegant visual brand. Its polished look and feel make sense considering this isn’t so much a writing group as a platform for finding — or creating — writing groups, complete with a shiny workshopping app that has version control and calendar notifications built in.

Each workshop is private, invite-only, and capped at 8 members. You can sign up for a two-week free trial, but after that, the service costs $10 per month, or $75 for the year. Membership also lets you tune in for free to lectures by industry pros.

Perfect if: You’re willing to pay for an intimate, yet high-tech, workshop experience

13. Litopia

This website calls itself the “oldest writers’ colony on the ‘net,” a description that probably proves its age. One of its main draws? The writing groups that allow members to post their WIPs for peer review. The community tends to be friendly and mutually encouraging — probably the reason Litopia has lasted so long.

There’s another major draw: every Sunday, literary agent Peter Cox reviews several 700-word excerpts from members work on-air, in a podcast called Pop-Up Submissions. Cox tackles this process with a rotating cast of industry professionals as his guests. They’ve even been known to ask for a synopsis from a writer who impresses.

Perfect if: You’ve always wanted to spend some time in a writer’s colony, but you can’t jet off to Eureka Springs just yet

14. My Writers Circle

This easy-going discussion forum is light on dues and regulations, but members seem to be friendly and respectful anyway. A stickied thread on the Welcome Board encourages new members to read and comment on at least 3 pieces of writing before posting their own work for review. But this isn’t the kind of hard-and-fast rule that’ll lead to banning if you fall short. Members go along with it because they genuinely care about one another’s writing progress.

My Writers Circle has three dedicated workshop boards that allow forum users to seek feedback on their writing. One, called Review My Work, accepts general fiction and nonfiction, while additional spaces allow poets and dramatists of all kinds to get their verse, plays, and TV scripts critiqued.

Perfect if: You want a community where people are nice because they want to be — not because they have to be

15. Nathan Bransford - The Forums

Nathan Bransford worked as an agent before he switched over to the other side of the submissions process. Now, he’s a published middle-grade novelist and the author of a well-rated, self-published craft book called How to Write a Novel . In the midst of all his success, Bransford gives back to the literary community by running his ultra-popular Forums.

A board called Connect With a Critique Partner functions as matchmaker central for writers seeking their perfect beta readers. And if you’re not looking for something long-term, there’s the Excerpts forum, where you can post a bit of your WIP for quick hit of feedback.

Perfect if: You want to be part of a writing community that’s uber-active, but low-key

16. The Next Big Writer

Since 2005, this cult-favorite workshop has provided thousands of writers with a friendly forum for exchanging critiques. The site boasts an innovative points system designed to guarantee substantive, actionable feedback. To gain access, you’ll have to pay: $8.95 a month, $21.95 a quarter, or $69.95 for the whole year. Fortunately, there’s an opportunity to try before you buy: a 7-day free trial lets you get a taste of what the site has to offer.

The Next Big Writer also hosts periodic contests : grand prize winners receive $600 and professional critiques, while runners-up stand to gain $150 and 3 months of free membership. Meanwhile, all entrants get feedback on their submissions.

Perfect if: You like the sound of a members’ only writing contest with big prizes — in both cash and critique

17. NovelPro

This fiction writing workshop is one of the more costly online communities to join. But it has the rigor of an MFA program, at a tiny fraction of the price. Members — their numbers are capped at 50 — pay $120 a year. And that’s after a stringent application process requiring the first and last chapters of a finished, 60,000-word fiction manuscript and a 250-word blurb. Think of it as a bootcamp for your novel.

Even if an applicant’s writing sample passes muster, they still might not make the cut — there’s also a critique exercise that asks them to pass judgment on a sample novel chapter, with a 2-day turnaround. No wonder prospective NovelPro members are urged to reconsider unless their prose is “accomplished” and their fiction skills “advanced.”

Perfect if: You want a critique group that’ll take your work as seriously as you do

Free course: Novel Revision

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18. Prolitfic

Launched by University of Texas students frustrated by the vagaries of the publishing process, this slick, Gen Z-friendly site encourages emerging writers to help each other out with thorough, actionable reviews. Members critique one another’s critiques — dare we call it metacritique? — to keep the quality of feedback high.

Prolitfic 's rating rubric, which assigns all submissions a star rating out of 5, insures that all reviewers are coming from the same place. Reviewers with higher levels of Spark, or site engagement, have their feedback weighted more heavily when the site calculates each submission’s overall rating.

Perfect if: You’re a serious, young writer hoping to find support in a tight-knit community built by your peers

19. Scribophile

One of the best-known writing communities on the web, Scribophile promises 3 insightful critiques for every piece of work you submit. Members earn the right to receive critiques by stocking up on karma points, which they can get by offering feedback on other works. You can get extra karma points by reacting to other users’ critiques — by clicking on Facebook-like buttons that say “thorough,” “constructive,” and the like — and by having your critiques showered with positive reactions.

A free membership lets you put two 3,000-word pieces up for critique, while premium memberships won’t throttle your output — but will cost you either $9 per month or $65 for the year.

Perfect if: You’d like to play with a critique system that has shades of Reddit — but far more civil!

20. SheWrites Groups

This long-standing community for writing women boasts a treasure trove of craft-focused articles. But the site also hosts a wealth of writing groups, split into genres and topics. Whether they work on screenplays, horror novels , or depictions of the environment, women writers can find a group to post their work for feedback — and commiserate on the travails of writing life.

In addition to their articles and writing groups, She Writes also operates a hybrid publishing company that distributes through Ingram and, naturally, brings women’s writing into the light.

Perfect if: You’re a woman writer in search of a friendly community full of like-minded, mutually encouraging folks

21. Sub It Club

Gearing up to submit finished work can be even more daunting than writing it in the first place. If you’d like to get some friendly eyes on your query letters or pitches — in a virtual walled garden away from any agents or publishers — this closed Facebook group might be the perfect place for you.

If you’re in need of more than a one-off review, Sub It Club runs a Critique Partner Matchup group to pair off writing buddies. The group moderators also run a blog with plenty of tips on crafting cover letters, dealing with rejection, and all other parts of the submission process .

Perfect if: You want a private, low-stress setting to get some feedback and vent about life as a yet-to-be-published writer

22. WritersCafe.org

This sizable — but friendly! — community boasts over 800,000 users, all of whom can access its critique forums for free. Members offer feedback to one another at all stages of the writing process: from proofing near-finished pieces to leaving more substantive feedback for still-marinating works.

For more quantitative-minded scribblers, WritersCafe ’s graphs make it easy to visualize how their work is being received. The site also allows members to host their own writing contests — and even courses to share their expertise with fellow Cafe patrons.

Perfect if: You’re a visual, data-driven writer who prefers to think in charts — even when it comes to writing!

23. Writer’s Digest Critique Central

Writer’s Digest is an institution in the literary world, and its critique forum is as popular as you’d expect: it’s collected more than 10,000 threads and nearly 90,000 individual posts over the years.

Critique Central boasts dedicated boards for a variety of genres — poetry is the most popular, with literary fiction next in line. You can also find spaces dedicated to polishing query letters and synopses, and a board that aggregates critique guidelines to make sure every member is giving — and getting — the best feedback possible.

Perfect if: You’d like a one-stop shop for critiquing your WIPs, queries, and synopses

24. The Writers Match

Founded by a veteran children’s book author, The Writers Match aims to, well, match writers with their comrades-in-craft from around the world. Think of it as okCupid for critique partners. Just fill out a profile and then shop for matches on the Members page, where writers will be sorted according to experience and genre.

If you find any promising would-be partners, shoot them a message and see if the literary sparks fly. And if it turns out you don’t quite vibe, there are plenty of other fish in the sea of critique.

Perfect if: You live somewhere without a robust writing community, and you’re tired of missing out

25. Writers World Facebook Group

Founded by veteran editor and sci-fi author Randall Andrews, this critique group welcomes serious writers of book-length prose. Members aim to shepherd each other’s manuscripts through all stages of the publication process, from the developmental edit to the query.

Andrews himself remains heavily involved in Writers World ’s day-to-day activity, pitching in with critiques informed by his 30 years of experience in the publishing industry. He’s also happy to explain his comments, and weighs in periodically with links to useful resources on craft.

Perfect if: You’ve got a book in the works, and you’re in the market for a critique group headed by a mentor who’s extremely generous with his time

26. Writing.Com

This sprawling community has been a meeting point for writers of all levels since 2000, whether their goals are to be published in a top-shelf literary magazine or to score an A in English Composition. Writing.Com users, who work in every genre under the sun, make use of the site’s portfolio system to post their writing and seek feedback from fellow community members.

Free memberships allow users to store up to 10 items in their personal portfolio, while the various tiers of paid membership gradually increase the limit — starting at the 50 items afforded by the $19.95 per year Basic Membership.

Perfect if: You want to be part of an enormous community where you’re sure to encounter a diversity of viewpoints

27. Writing, Prompts & Critiques Facebook Group

Writing, Prompts & Critiques is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. Members seek critique on posted threads and can also comment on one another’s responses to the group’s daily writing exercises.

Speaking of which: unlike conventional writing prompts, which encourage you to write new work, WPC’s daily challenges try to get you thinking more deeply about your existing projects. So come with a manuscript in hand, and see if the folks here can’t help you make it even better.

Perfect if: You’d like to get some feedback on a WIP — and experiment with some writing exercises to refine it

28. Writing to Publish

This 25-year-old critique group might have an American flag gif on its homepage, but its membership is worldwide. Writing to Publish members meet live in a chat room every other Monday at 7 PM Pacific time — which the website helpfully specifies is lunchtime on Tuesday for Australians.

New members have trial status until they’ve sat in on a handful of live-chat sessions, after which point they can start offering critiques themselves. Only after two critiques can they become full-fledged members, with the ability to submit their own work for review. Discussion tends to be lively and honest — but unfailingly polite.

Perfect if: You want your critique circle to operate in real-time — even if it includes folks from all over the world

29. YeahWrite

This writing community’s home page describes it as “part workshop, part competition, and all focused on getting from where you are to where you want to be as a writer.” Its biggest claim to fame? Free weekly writing challenges in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, where writers submit 750-word pieces in response to curated writing prompts.

If you fancy more concentrated feedback than the weekly challenges can give you, YeahWrite also offers paid editorial evaluations — one for $25 a year or two for $50. Send a 1,000-word piece of writing for review, and an editorial staff member will get back to you with a developmental edit or a line edit, depending on your manuscript’s needs.

Perfect if: You find that nothing sparks your creativity energies more than a good writing prompt

30. YouWriteOn

[update 4 Feb 2022: YouWriteOn seems to be temporarily inaccessible]

This free service boasts Bloomsbury and Penguin Random House reps among its members. So if you join and upload a story or chapter, you stand a chance of getting some very discerning eyes on your work. With such powerful people roaming the joint, it’s no wonder that some first-time authors have been discovered through YouWriteOn: historical fiction writer Doug Jackson, for instance, sold his Roman epic Caligula to Penguin through the forum.

Reviews come in one at a time and assign each piece a star rating in 8 different categories: characters, story, pace and structure, use of language, narrative voice, dialogue, settings, and themes and ideas.

Perfect if: You want some Big Five eyes on your work, in a supportive, low-stakes setting

A critique circle just might help you produce an enduring genre masterpiece


31. Allpoetry

This poetry site allows free members to join a writing group and post their verse for review, while premium members can use it to host their own private writing critique groups. A silver membership, for $5.95 a month, allows you to form a group, while a $14.95 gold membership provides analytics to track your visitors.

Allpoetry boasts 238 currently active groups — the biggest weighing in at 50 members while the smallest hover around 6 or 7 members. The site also offers free, self-paced poetry classes for beginners to the craft, on topics ranging from sonnets to beating writer’s block .

Perfect if: You’re a poet who wants the ability to choose between several critique groups of various sizes

32. Chronicles Science Fiction & Fantasy Community

This sleekly designed forum is primarily a fandom space — a thriving community for dissecting the works of your favorite speculative fiction authors. But Chronicles also operates a suite of craft-focused forums for sci-fi and fantasy fans who double as writers themselves.

The Chronicles Workshop forum hosts frequent, 100-word writing challenges that combine a theme and a genre, say “Crime & Punishment” and “Urban Fantasy.” Members tend to respond to these with enthusiasm, but they also have the option of posting their own, freestanding work for review in the writing circle.

Perfect if: You’re both a speculative fiction writer and a speculative fiction reader, and you want a community that can indulge both your inner creator and your inner fan

33. Critters Workshop

A passion project run by a former VP of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Critters has been helping authors polish their sci-fi, fantasy, and horror for almost a quarter century. The workshop is a space for serious writers, whether they’ve been showered with accolades or are still unpublished.

Critters stands out for treating critique itself as a craft deserving of careful attention. Participants learn to read with both acumen and empathy, offering substantive, yet tactfully framed criticisms of one another’s work. To remain in good standing, every “critter” writes an average of one critique a week.

Perfect if: You’re willing to learn the art of constructive criticism — and eager to get 15-20 thoughtful responses for each piece of writing they submit

34. Critique.org Workshops

The Critique.org workshops act as an expansion of Critters — including 16 furthers genres and media. The resulting spin-offs cover every form of writing you can think of, from thrillers to screenplays. Some are more highly trafficked than others, but all of them echo Critters’ dedication to the art of critique.

Multi-genre writers who work on, say, both romance and thrillers have to sign up separately for every workshop they’re interested in.

Perfect if: You like the sound of Critters but don’t like the idea of writing sci-fi, fantasy, or horror

35. Eratosphere

This online workshop might be named for the muse of love poetry, but versifiers working on all subjects are welcome to post. Eratosphere isn’t for the faint of heart: the site’s guidelines stress high standards of craft and emphasize that the forums might not be suitable for beginners or “those who mainly seek mutual support and praise.” But if you’re a practiced poet serious about refining your craft, you won’t find a more knowledgeable workshop.

The site is especially helpful for poets specializing in metrical verse forms. Poets who already produce polished, near-publishable work can make use of The Deep End, a forum tailor-made for metrical poetry gurus thick-skinned enough to deal with intense — but constructive — critique.

Perfect if: You’re an experienced poet eager for gimlet-eyed critique

36. FaithWriters

This online hub for writers of faith operates a Christian Writing Critique Circle. Unlike many groups with more stringent requirements, members only need to submit one critique for every piece of writing they put out for feedback. The FaithWriters moderators occasionally pay professional editors to come in and review pieces that haven’t gotten enough love from members-at-large. So there’s no fear that your work will remain forlorn and ignored.

Writers too pressed for time to offer critiques can pay in cash for the ability to receive feedback. FaithWriters limits submissions to 1,000 words each, and allows every member 4 per month.

Perfect if: You’re a Christian writer who’d appreciate a guarantee of feedback from your critique group

37. Fantasy & Science Fiction Writers in America Facebook Group

This group for serious, craft-focused speculative fiction writers actually welcomes members from all over the world, as long as they write in English. Members post small excerpts from their work for critique, but they also like to swap trade secrets — about both the craft and business sides of writing life.

Because Fantasy & Science Fiction Writers in America welcomes writers of all ages, members need to keep it PG-13. The four admins keep an eye on things to make sure the discussion stays civil and safe for work.

Perfect if: You’re an aspiring sci-fi or fantasy author not interested in smut or gore

38. Fiction Writing Facebook Group

This 90,000-member Facebook group is moderated by a triumvirate of published authors who’ve banded together to create a space where their fellow writers can swap WIPs. The moderators run a tight ship in terms of hate speech, bullying, and spam, and the resulting community is full of serious writers despite its daunting size.

Fiction Writing members can share the occasional bit of verse in the dedicated #poetry thread, but for the most part, the focus is on short stories and novel excerpts. The moderators also make occasional postings drawing the community’s attention to publishing opportunities, usually in the anthology series they help curate.

Perfect if: You want to dive into a community where you won’t be subjected to endless self-promotion or straight-up hate speech

39. Historical Novel Society Manuscript Facebook Group

This closed Facebook group provides dues-paying members of the Historical Novel Society with a private space to get into the weeds of mutual critique. Manuscript Facebook Group members can, of course, post their manuscripts for general review. They can also use the group to find long-term critique partners.

Membership in the Historical Novel Society costs $50 per year and nets you a free subscription to the Historical Novel Review , a listing in the group’s directory, and notification of the many conferences and colloquia it hosts every year. In addition to its manuscript critique group, the HNS also operates a more general Facebook group where members swap research tips and writing inspiration.

Perfect if: You’re serious about bringing the past to life by writing top-notch historical fiction

40. The Internet Writing Workshop

This site aggregates several genre-specific mailing lists that allow writers to submit their own work and critique one another’s. Dedicated lists for short fiction, book-length projects, romance, poetry, and YA ensure almost every author can find a place to get feedback. Another list dedicated to writing exercises encourages members to respond to weekly prompts — and critique each other’s responses.

To remain in good standing as an Internet Writing Workshop member, you’ll have to commit to a minimum participation requirement. But it’s a pretty modest one, coming down to only half an hour a week. The workshop also runs an active writing advice blog that dates back to 2007.

Perfect if: You want a free, email-based workshop with pretty light participation requirements

41. Kingdom Writers

This email-based critique list provides a home on the internet for Christian writers, both published and unpublished. While encouraged to post work explicitly aimed at their faith community, members can also share more secular writings — as long as they’re PG-13. Civility is a must: works criticizing other religions won’t be tolerated.

Thanks to their fellow Kingdom Writers ’ critiques, participants in this online fellowship have managed to publish a number of books, from devotional texts and Bible trivia to romance and historical fiction.

Perfect if: You’re a Christian writer hoping to join a tight-knit community where you won’t encounter anything NSFW

42. Mystery Writers Forum

This forum for latter-day Arthur Conan Doyles has been around since 1997. With nearly one thousand members roaming its 22 discussion boards, it’s nothing short of an institution.

Still, mystery writers of all kinds can patrol the Writing Advice forum in search of genre-savvy critique partners. There’s plenty more to explore. Whether you’re interested in nailing down the elements of a cozy mystery or confused about how courtroom procedure should work in your trial scene, the Mystery Writers Forum will have something to point you in the right direction.

Perfect if: You have some very specific burning questions that only a fellow mystery buff can answer

43. Online Writing Workshop for Science, Fantasy and Horror

This genre writers’ paradise has a modest price for entry. After a month-long free trial, members pay $49 a year for access to the site’s critique group. But the workshop also operates a scholarship fund for writers having trouble making ends meet. Both agents and publishers keep an eye on submissions through free professional memberships, so a discerning, influential eye just might fall on your manuscript.

Submissions are limited to 7,000 words each, and members of the Online Writing Workshop are required to review if they want to be reviewed. Plenty have found success through the workshop, winning Hugos and scoring Big Five contracts.

Perfect if: You don’t mind paying in exchange for access to a genre-savvy community where some agents and publishers tend to lurk

Speaking of scholarships, if you're a student scraping together tuition, why not apply to writing scholarships to supplement your funds?

44. The Poetry Free-for-All

This online workshop encourages poets to work seriously towards the refinement of their craft, by embracing constructive criticism and learning to offer it in turn. As is standard among critique groups, members have to provide 3 reviews for every piece they submit for feedback.

The Poetry Free-for-All is an offshoot of EveryPoet.com, an archive of poetry designed to instill a love of verse in all visitors. Whether your posting your own verse for critique or browsing through the classics — from Chaucer to Edna St. Vincent Millay — you can easily lose a couple of hours on this site.

Perfect if: You’re a poet who’s serious about your craft, but you want a workshop that’s less structured than some of the other options out there

45. Romance Critters Yahoo Group

This 18+ Yahoo group has been helping serious romance writers refine their craft since 1998. They’ll look at squeaky-clean teen romances, bona fide erotica, and anything in between , where’s it’s historical or set in outer space. However, you’ll have to apply to get access to the community.

Romance Critters members submit a chapter at a time for review — and only once they’ve submitted 2 critiques of other pieces. Ten full critiques can also earn you an in-depth beta read.

Perfect if: You want some well-trained eyes on your meet-cutes — or your sex scenes

46. Screech Poetry Magazine

Despite its name, this isn’t so much a publication as an open forum for posting and critiquing poetry. Think of it as a democratic, crowd-sourced compendium of contemporary verse.

Occasional writing contests tempt entrants with the promise of Amazon vouchers. But for the most part, Screech emphasizes open-hearted sharing over competition. The community has a collective soft spot for Japanese verse forms, from the humble haiku to the lesser-known renga. But poetry of all kinds is welcome, from the the kid-friendly to the NSFW.

Perfect if: You like to experiment with Japanese verse forms and want a critique group that takes them seriously

47. Seekerville

In 2004, 15 women writers with big dreams met at the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference. Seven years later, all 15 of them had snagged book deals. Now, they run the Seekerville blog to pass their tips on to the next generation of Christian authors.

The Seekerville ladies host periodic Open Critique Days, where they offer feedback on short passages posted by their devoted readership. The most recent one yielded 105 comments.

Perfect if: You’re a Christian woman writer wanting mentorship from some warm-hearted authors who’ve been there before

48. SwoonReads

This YA-focused writing community is owned by Macmillan, one of the storied Big Five publishers. Still, its business model is far from traditional. For one thing, it’s also a publishing imprint. Aspiring authors upload unpublished manuscripts for community members to rate and review — all in the interest of helping Macmillan sniff out the next The Fault in Our Stars or To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before .

SwoonReads accepts YA manuscripts of all kinds, from contemporary romance to supernatural horror. Authors chosen for publication receive a $10,000 advance. Those who find their manuscripts passed over are welcome to revise and resubmit.

Perfect if: You’re a YA novelist dreaming of a Big Five book deal

49. Women’s Fiction Writers Association

This professional association caters to writers of women’s fiction — mostly, though not necessarily, women themselves. According to the group’s homepage, the important thing is that members’ work centers on a well-developed character’s transformative emotional journey. Membership costs $48 a year, but gives you access to a number of perks. In addition to an annual retreat and periodic online pitch sessions — where members can, well, pitch potential agents — the Women's Fiction Writers Association runs two critique programs.

The WFWA Critique Forum Facebook Page allows dues-paying members to swap loglines, query letters, and synopses for feedback, or find fellow writers to arrange manuscript swaps. There’s also the WFWA’s Critique Group Matching Service, where organization leaders break match up interested members based on their interests.

Perfect if: You write emotionally intricate, character-driven fiction

Do you have a go-to writing circle for helpful critiques? Tell us about it in the comments below!

5 responses

Robin Gaster says:

11/09/2019 – 16:39

fascinating that you found almost nothing on nonfiction

11/09/2019 – 22:28

A lot of forum and email based groups along with Facebook. If you only have the online ones that actually workshop the manuscript it will drop down to maybe a 16-17. That does include several closed/not for public groups.

Gregory A. De Feo says:

11/09/2019 – 23:26

Did you hear of www.writersvillage.com? What's your opinion of it, if so?

Ned Marcus says:

18/09/2019 – 00:19

Thanks for the list. It looks good. One other point. You don't need to live in a literary hub to find fellow writers—as long as you do live in a city, you'll probably find other writers. Starting your own critique/writers group can be very productive. It's worked very well for me, even though at the beginning I didn't know what I was doing. I asked an experienced writer and workshop regular (from another city), followed the advice, adjusted it, and now I have a great group with really talented writers as members. It took a few years, but it was worth it.

Bev Hanna says:

20/09/2019 – 18:02

Do you know of any critique forums for memoir and autobiography?

Comments are currently closed.

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Des Moines Writers' Workshop

Des moines writers helping each other grow, des moines writers’ workshop format for critique group meetings:.

Our group format is similar to other writing workshops and critique groups:

1.  The first portion of the critique is spent giving the writer positive feedback about her/his submission.

It is very important for writers to know what others liked about their writing. Positive feedback gives writers some encouragement to keep writing (the writing world can be brutal at times), and if writers know what they are doing well, they can continue to build on those strengths.

2.  The second portion of the critique is spent giving some suggestions/critiques/ideas that might make the writer’s submission stronger.

Please hold off on giving any suggestions until all of the positive feedback is given. Once a critique/suggestion is given, the group naturally shifts in that direction, so it’s important to hold off on the critiques until all positive feedback has been given.

 Guidelines for Critiquing Other Members:

1. Say something positive about the piece.

Even if a piece of writing needs a lot of work, there is usually something good that can be pointed out – the nugget of a great idea, a particularly well-turned phrase, the beginnings of a good organizational structure, or a thorough understanding of the material.

2.  Critique the writing, not the writer.

A writer’s work is very personal and it takes a lot of courage to put a piece of writing out there for others to critique. Offer honest, nonjudgmental, tactful feedback. Put-downs and attacks are not tolerated. Everyone should feel safe sharing their work. Instead of saying, “You aren’t very good at conclusions,” say, “This conclusion didn’t really work for me.” Then state why you didn’t think it worked.

3.  Be respectful of genres outside of your own.

You may not particularly enjoy reading romance or crime novels, but do not let that factor into your critique. Critique the writing, not the genre.

4.  Speak from your own perspective.

Use phrases like, “My reaction to this was …” or “I found this to be …” rather than “this part of the paper is …” Acknowledge that there may be a variety of opinions about the piece of writing.

Remember that you are in a writing group to help one another improve. It does not help the writer if you see problems with his/her writing but don’t mention them because you’re afraid of hurting his/her feelings. Usually a writer would rather hear about a problem from the friendly, supportive members of his/her writing group.

5.  Be specific.

Instead of just saying, “The characterization needs work,” try to figure out where and how the writer can improve on the story’s character.

6.  Whatever you say, imagine yourself on the receiving end of the comment.

If this were your work, what would be helpful to you? How would you want people to provide you with criticism?

7.  Write out key points that you want to share with the writer.

This will help you remember them and also provide a written record of your feedback.

8.  Do not insist that others adopt your style, morals, or values.

Avoid the temptation to impose your writing style, morals or values onto others.  The goal of the critique is to help the author be the best that he/she can be using their own unique style, drawing from their own very personal ethics and life experience.

 Receiving Feedback From Group Members

1.  Remember that your writing group is trying to help you become a better writer.

Anything the group members say about your work is designed to help you make it stronger, more readable, and more effective.

These are just other people’s opinions. If you think a suggestion is helpful, use it. If you feel strongly about not changing something…don’t. It’s your writing. Take all critiques into consideration, but follow your gut about what you should and should not change.

2.  Be quiet while you are receiving your critiques.

It’s difficult to do when you want to defend your work, but you’ll get more out of it if you just listen. Critique processes can easily get derailed by explaining and defending, which can then lead to arguing.

Try not to be defensive. It’s easy to think, “What do they know?” or “They just didn’t get it,” but keep in mind that while one reader’s response may be the result of that reader’s own misunderstanding, if several readers agree that a scene or stanza is confusing or implies something you didn’t intend, the problem probably lies with the writing and not with the readers.

Once the critiques are finished, you’ll have time to make comments, ask questions and get clarification.

3.  Put yourself in the critique members’ shoes.

Remember when you’ve struggled to respond to someone else’s work without hurting their feelings or being “too nice.” Understand that this process is sometimes hard for both the reader and the writer.

4.  Keep in mind that every reader is different.

What one reader finds confusing another might find crystal clear. It is ultimately your writing and you will have to decide which bits of feedback to act upon and which to ignore.

Remember that a critique of one piece of writing is not an indictment of you as a writer or scholar more generally, nor is it a critique of your worth as a person. It is simply a response to words that you wrote on one occasion.

5.  Listen to praise with the same intensity that you listen to criticism.

Often, writers can obsess over critical comments and fail to hear all of the good things said about their writing. We can be our own worst critics and harshest detractors – shut off that filter that says, “They don’t really mean that,” and accept sincere praise at face value.

6.  Keep track of the kinds of feedback that you receive again and again.

Do readers often suggest changes in plot or imagery? Do the endings of your poems or stories usually seem to need work? Do people frequently tell you that they don’t understand words that you use? Do readers praise your clarity? Do they regularly tell you that your introductions are interesting? Use these observations to identify patterns of problems and strengths in your writing.

Remember: You’re the author and you have the final say.

So, remember as you receive critiques that it is your prerogative to accept or reject any suggestions made. This is a useful tip to keep in mind when the group is pretty evenly divided on a particular point (which will likely be most of the time). Don’t feel like you have to change something just because someone in the group didn’t like it; but also don’t make any overly hasty judgments about critiques you receive (sometimes they make more sense when you go back and look at them later).

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Guidelines for a Writing Critique Group

critique group feedback

For three years I have been a member of a small group that meets monthly at our local library. Over time we have lost and gained members. That has resulted in some changes in the way the group operates. In the last month, more shifts have happened and the old core members decided the time had come to formalize, to some degree, what we expect from the group and its members.

There may be readers here who wish to form, or participate in, a group of their own. While this document only represents what works for my group, I thought it might be helpful to share the guidelines we developed. These may evolve over time as the needs of the group change, but so far these work well for us. Our group is small (no more than six members) and quite informal.

Stratford Writers Group Guidelines

We currently meet on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Stratford Public Library at 7 PM. We must be out of the building by 9 PM when the library closes.

Given those constraints, and to insure that every member benefits from the meetings, we have agreed on certain guidelines. We have also agreed to do our best to adhere to these guidelines with the understanding that, occasionally, exceptions may arise.

Each member will submit, in a Word document, a submission of up to 3000 words five days ahead of the meeting to give members time to read and critique that submission. Please number paragraphs or lines so that when we talk about it we will be able to find the reference easily. Each member has an individual preference for the kind of feedback looked for. We will attempt to respond to those wishes. For example, some want editing, others only response to flow, development, etc. We will respect those wishes as much as possible.

While members may submit longer pieces if this assists in understanding continuity of the piece, members are not obligated to critique more than 3000 words. The submission should indicate which section he/she wishes to have critiqued. On occasion a member may not have something to submit. In that case he/she will still critique the submissions of the remaining members.

During the meeting each member will have a set time during which he/she will give their feedback. The person whose piece is being discussed will listen, may ask brief clarification questions, but will not argue with the feedback of the member giving it. Due to time constraints it is not possible to engage in detailed discussions. This can be challenging but we have found that becoming immersed in explanations and argument is counter-productive for everyone.

When we forget this, (and this happens sometimes due to our passion about our work) other members may gently suggest we move on. This will be given in the spirit of fairness and friendship and ought not be taken as a personal affront.

Remember we are all there for the same reason – we want to do the best work we can. To that end we should be ready to accept objective, honest feedback without going into a defensive posture. This becomes easier when we learn to trust that the feedback is being given to help our creative process – it is not a personal comment on our work or talent. Destructive feedback is never helpful. Some writers may find that this process doesn’t work for them.

Time allotted for each person’s feedback will be determined by the number of members present. Often it will be minutes only.

These are the guidelines that have worked for OUR group. They were created as a group effort, based on consultation, and agreed upon by its members. Any new members will be asked to agree and adhere to them.

Your group will be unique. Please regard this as a starting point only, a place to begin thinking about what your group will look like and how it will work best for your members. And have fun encouraging each other to new heights of achievement in writing.

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Author: Yvonne Hertzberger

Yvonne Hertzberger is a native of the Netherlands who immigrated to Canada in 1950. She is an alumna of The University of Waterloo, with degrees in psychology and Sociology. Her Fantasy trilogy, ‘Earth’s Pendulum’ has been well received. Learn more about Yvonne at her blog and her Amazon author page . View all posts by Yvonne Hertzberger

24 thoughts on “Guidelines for a Writing Critique Group”

This sounds like a wonderful way to run a group. I’m not a part of a writers’ group now (other than online groups), but I really like this: “Due to time constraints it is not possible to engage in detailed discussions. This can be challenging but we have found that becoming immersed in explanations and argument is counter-productive for everyone.” My main frustration with groups has always tended to be a lack of structure so that members get caught up in dissecting one passage or sentence for the entire group, and miss everything else. This is a nice way to keep things on track.

Thanks, Melinda. Yes, that was something we struggled with, too. Sometimes it’s a hard one to enforce but when we do it works better.

These are great guidelines, Yvonne. We have similar guidelines in my writer’s group, in that 3,000 words is the limit. I think that’s a nice cutoff point.

I really like the idea of numbering lines/paragraphs. I have one friend who does that, but it’s not a rule. That line numbering really does make it easier to follow along, though.

Thank you RJ. The numbering of paragraphs or lines avoids wasted time trying to find what the feedback is pointing to.

I sort of dabbled with a local group, who think they are serious writers, and some of them are. ‘Nough said. They would greatly benefit from your credo.

I’m sorry your group was not a positive experience for you. Perhaps you might consider taking these with you as a starting point if you ever form one.

Thanks, Yvonne. Structure is important–and a group leader who can rein in the members. At least, that’s been my experience!

Yes, a leader CAN be useful – provided they keep to making sure the meting moves forward and doesn’t overstep their authority. We had a “chair” rather than a leader, and her only responsibility was to make sure discussion didn’t get out of hand. She has just left the group, so we may have to look at that again.

Great post, Yvonne. 🙂

Thank you. I hope some find it helpful.

I think a lot of people will find this helpful, Yvonne. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks, Kat. That’s what we at IU are all here for.

Congratulations on being a member of a group that works well together and who respect each other’s writings, that is imporant. Writers need to be able to work with others.

Here is a cautionary tale, look before you leap, before you join a group quietly check it out:

5 years ago, I saw a flyer about a writing group meeting at our local book store coffee bar, so I stopped in and stayed in the background pretending to read a book while listening in on their meeting, to see what it was like before joining it. I decided not to join it.

It was nothing like your group, instead, the group leader had an overbearing alpha type personality. I heard her say, she was still working on her first novel and was bringing a chapter a week to the meetings.

Unfortunatly, she was quick to criticize and berate the other members chapter or short story. I was shocked at how demoralizing and degrading she was to the others. Also whenever someone tried to point out something about her chapter, she was quick to scoff off the comment.

When the meeting broke up, she was one of the first to leave. As the other members left, they were talking about how nasty a power trip she was on. By chance, I was in the book store when their next meeting was scheculed. I noticed her sitting alone where they had met before. As I drank my coffee she frantically called each of them only to have no one answer her call. I noticed they never met there again after that.

Sadly, that scenario is all too common. That’s why having a “leader” can be counter-productive. On the one had you need someone to make sure things move forward; on the other that person HAS to respect all members. The bottom line for me is that feedback must not demoralize, but rather support the writer to move in a positive direction. Sharp, negative criticism never does that.

I like this format, especially the bit about avoiding detailed analysis. That’s not because I don’t want my work analysed, it’s be cause when people start discussing the finer points of grammar, with clauses and syntaxes and prepositions I haven’t a clue what they’re talking about. I’ve never understood any of that stuff and simply write as I would say it. If people can’t understand that: tough. But comments about whether something is intelligible, or makes sense, whether it flows and maintains interest are very useful. A great post to start a new year. 🙂

Thank you, Ian. I mostly agree, though in the final analysis those DO have to be considered. But for me, that is an editor’s job, not that of fellow writers who may not know any more than I do. Whaat’s important for me, as you say, is whether it works and flows well.

I coordinate a group that has 6 -8 regulars. We begin our meetings with a starter writing activity where everyone writes and then we discuss what’s been done. Then we have a workshop time where we critique work previously submitted. So far, we have restricted the size of these submissions to +/- 500 words. That has become a problem – too short to get a real flavour of the writing. However, time at meetings is of the essence. I think I’ll share your idea of line numbers and see what our group thinks. Thanks for the idea.

Great. I hope it’s helpful to your group. Most of our members are working on larger projects so the workshop idea won’t work for us. I think it depends on the goals of the group. Each one will find its own path if all members work together well.

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Critique Group Guidelines

Have you ever wanted a group of your peers to look at your work and offer you feedback? Well, you’re in the right spot! RMFW provides information for regular volunteer-led critique groups for members interested in just that! Critiques include technical advice and other writers’ opinions regarding characters, plot, dialogue, and suitability for the marketplace. RMFW hosts online groups as well as several groups around the front range and western slope of Colorado.

As stated in these Guidelines, RMFW does not charge its members a fee for participation in critique groups. RMFW does not monitor the critique groups. Each critique group is a volunteer-led and run group and operates independently from RMFW. Membership in RMFW is not required for participation in any critique group. RMFW must therefore disclaim any liability for any actions or inactions by the critique group. Each member or non-member participates in a critique group at their own risk.

If you are interested in forming a critique group please contact  [email protected] .

Critique Format and Guidelines

The format for each critique group is determined by that specific group’s moderator and may vary from group to group. The following guidelines are general guidelines provided as a sample and are not specifically representative of any group. These guidelines have not been approved or endorsed by RMFW but are merely provided as a courtesy and for the writer’s information. RMFW does not charge its members a fee. Most manuscripts presented for critique will be novel-length, commercial fiction as this is the general focus of RMFW. However, some groups may consider other works such as short stories, screenplays, or true crime. If your work is not commercial, novel-length fiction, contact the group moderator and inquire as to whether your work will be fit for the group. Submissions presented for critique are most often in the standard format accepted by agents and editors.

  • Double spaced
  • 24-25 lines per page (about 250 words)
  • A 12-point, typewriter-style font (like this Times New Roman font).
  • A header and page number are quite helpful as is a date so it can be referred to when making revisions.

Most groups have a page limit for critiques. In the absence of an exact number, assume a count of 10 pages or 2500 words. If you have a longer scene and feel your scene must be read as a whole, contact the moderator of the group you wish to attend and inquire as to any specific arrangements.

Most groups read from hard-copy pages. The author is responsible to bring sufficient copies for each attendee. Normally this should not exceed more than 10 paper-clipped copies. Again, contacting the group moderator can save you from making too many copies, or from not making enough. It is possible on occasion for two people to share a copy, but you may not get as thorough a critique from the two sharing.

Each manuscript is handed out so all may follow along and also so that the attendees can make written comments.

Three or four manuscripts will be read at each session and sessions can last for several hours, so be prepared to stay at the meeting until all have read. Arriving late or leaving early is not only discouraged but also rude and not in the spirit of mutual advancement.

It is not necessary to read at each session. The author is encouraged to read aloud. We understand that reading aloud from your own work can be an intimidating or even frightening prospect. But the customary methods of critique groups are not without purpose. Often, reading aloud, in a group, brings out trouble spots that the author reading alone could not find. Besides, once you are published you’ll need to do live reads so you might as well get some practice. Just as it is not necessary to read at every session, it is also not necessary to read your entire manuscript to the group. Such an undertaking would require years and is therefore impractical. Instead, readers are encouraged to bring sections with which they are having difficulty. The one exception to this is the first-time read. For your first read of a new work, it is good to bring the first 10 pages. For future readings, bring trouble sections but prepare a short overview, not only for the benefit of the attendees who may be reading your story for the first time, but also to fill in the storyline for those scenes you are skipping.

Submitting Your Work

As you may have gathered from the above guidelines used by most critique groups, it’s a good idea to attend a critique group a few times before you bring your own work. This will give you a sense of how the group works and the feedback exchanged before you put your own work out there. When you are ready to submit, follow the guidelines provided by your group leader. These are guidelines typically provided by each critique group and are not required by RMFW. As previously mentioned, RMFW has not approved or endorsed these guidelines. They are provided for information purposes only.

Remember, guidelines vary from group to group and are driven by the size of the group, the genre, and the number of people who want to read. Some groups assign reading spots in advance, while others accept all work and adjust the group dynamics and time spent critiquing according to the number of pieces to be reviewed. Some groups send reading out ahead and the time in group is spent only on critique. When you submit your work, tell the readers where you are in the story, (such as a page number or a reference like “halfway through.” Your short overview should provide sufficient background needed to understand the scene you are reading. (Writing the overview is a good way to practice your synopsis writing!) But keep the overview short, half a page is recommended. If you have a specific question or want the group to focus on a certain area (such as dialogue, characters, choreography) make this apparent before you begin to read. It is not necessary to be able to articulate any specific need. Be sensitive to the possibility that the content or language of your creative work may offend some readers. If you think your work may be considered offensive, issue a warning so that readers may excuse themselves if they wish. If you find someone else’s work offensive, you may decline to read and critique it. However, literature is vast and dynamic in its composition. We ask that you understand that each segment of each session is about the author who is reading at that specific time. The focus is on them and not on you. So extend to them the same respect you would want for your own work.

Offering Critique

Each participant has an opportunity to comment briefly on the work that has been read. We ask that you be a “wise reader.” A wise reader is able to be honest without being brutal. If you are new to critique, the simplest and most honest approach is to notice how the author’s work makes you feel. Heart racing, sad, wistful, humored, or even angry or repulsed, the latter may well be exactly what the author was hoping for. If you are unsure of what to say, simply pass, or say, “I have nothing new to add, or all of my points have been covered.” This will be possible as you will not likely be asked to comment first. Watch the more experienced people to see how they comment. You should see the experienced critique containing some of the following:

  • Begin with positive comments. The world of literature is full of more styles and voices than anyone could count. The purpose of fiction is to tell a story, period. So with this in mind, appreciate the work as it is by reflecting back on what you liked, what resonated with you, what you remember (word choices, images, action, dialogue, etc.). Every presentation has some good in it, find it, and let the author know.
  • The experienced critique will begin to note viewpoint, structure, characters, and word choice, and be able to offer specific commentary about the effect these things had on him or her as a reader. If you are not at this level yet, don’t worry, with a bit of time, you will be. This live feedback is the lifeblood of critique and is why authors involved in a critique group experience the most growth in their craft.
  • Note any confusion or problems you encountered when reading. However, realize that some confusion will result in that you are only reading ten pages. There are potentially hundreds of other pages you haven’t read and some confusion would be expected.
  • Tell the writer how the piece made you curious—what questions you have, what interests you, what you want to know going forward. But note: At critique, these questions are not an invitation for the author to explain the work, so you won’t expect any questions to be answered. If you want to further discuss the work with the author, do so outside of the group.
  • Be sure to separate the character or narrator in the work from the author. Never refer to the character as “you” or assume that the story is about the author.
  • Comment on the work itself, not on what you think it means, or should mean, or how you feel about the work or its subject. It is fine to say, “I don’t usually read this kind of book” and refrain from comment if you have nothing helpful to offer.
  • If you have a suggestion for reading that would help the writer (another novel, a book on craft) mention it in a note on the manuscript. Be sensitive about mentioning such suggestions aloud. If you have found a particularly helpful craft book, bring it along and show it to the whole group and be ready to admit how the book has helped your own craft.
  • Write your comments on grammar, spelling, and word choice on the manuscript. Don’t take time to point them out verbally. Also, when it comes to grammar, strive for accuracy. If you aren’t sure, say so. You might write, “I don’t believe you need a comma here.” Don’t just strike the comma if you aren’t positive you are correct.
  • Try not to repeat points that others have made since this takes valuable time. If you agree or disagree with a comment, note it on the MS so the writer will know. Try not to shoot down a fellow member’s critique by disagreeing with it aloud. An exception to this might be if you are seeing an author breaking down because of too many negative comments or if another member might have been less than tactful in offering critique. Then it is encouraged to build up the author and restore group dynamic. This is generally the duty of the group moderator but all should be sensitive to how a critique is being received.
  • End with something affirming and positive. We need to acknowledge the fact that the writer was brave enough to put his/her work on the line.

Receiving Critique

When you are the person receiving critique:

  • Just listen or take notes. Don’t argue, explain, or defend. Having a reader react immediately and say what worked and what didn’t is quite valuable. If you explain too much, you dilute the reaction. That reaction is, after all, one of the main reasons you are coming to critique.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the writing ability of your fellow group members. And try not to judge based on whether the writer is published or not published. Good writing conveys a story; it entertains and does so without grammatical errors and typos. That’s it. Writers at all levels in their careers must meet these same criteria. And even the best, most accomplished, award-winning writers have room to grow. If nothing else, keep in mind that if they are bringing their work to critique, it is because they are looking for comments. Give each member your honest feedback and accept theirs in return. It may be difficult to hear that your work needs improvements, but hearing these comments, taking them in, pondering them, and finally doing something with them is the best and quickest way to improve your work. In the same way, if you are a seasoned writer, don’t go to a group looking for applause. Praise will come from the fans of your published work, not from your critique group. This is not to say that we shouldn’t offer compliments, but critique is a waste of time if it is solely a mutual admiration gathering.
  • Finally, at the end of your session (when the last person has commented on your work) thank everyone for their feedback, and be genuine even if you didn’t agree with a word anyone said, even if everyone seemed to ‘hate’ your work and you want to go home and break your computer. These are all normal responses to receiving critique. Calm down, think about what was said. Don’t only focus on the positive comments; look even more carefully at the negative ones. Certainly don’t take everyone’s critique as gospel. You are the one who decides what works for you and your writing. Keep a firm hold on your style and voice and remember that every comment doesn’t necessarily improve your work but every comment, if it was offered honestly, has some value. You came to critique to be critiqued, so take it! And have fun.
  • That said, not all groups are perfect, and neither is every person in attendance. If someone is being unfair in written comments notify your group leader, and if it is the group leader who is being unfair, notify the RMFW Critique Chair.
  • Realize that it’s possible you won’t “click” with a critique group– personalities, stories, writing styles, etc. affect the ability for people to interact well and learn from one another. This is normal. If this happens, try a different group, or pair off with one or two members in your group and form a new group. Sometimes, you may have to visit more than one group before you find a home. If you do break off and form a new group, let the group leader know what led to the split. It is discouraged to attend a group to take over or to attract members away to populate your own group. If you do break off, it is commendable to hold your meeting on a different night. That way, members can still attend both groups. A split is a split and it can be ugly and damaging if it’s not handled well. Often times a splinter group is formed of more advanced writers who meet as a happy consequence of being a part of a larger group. These beta groups might share larger sections of their work and give more in-depth feedback on each reading. Such groups are an exception to the above paragraph. Although, it is still good to meet on a different night and to also not abandon the larger group. RMFW believes that experienced writers attending groups with less experienced writers are mutually valuable. Consider your continued attendance in the larger groups as payback for all the help, encouragement, and expertise you received while you were growing and developing as a writer. And be humble. You can still learn!

A few points that bear repeating:

  • Follow the format rules given by the group leader.
  • Remember that receiving criticism is never easy.
  • What is said is a comment on your work, not on you personally.
  • Give layered critique, what worked along with what didn’t work.
  • End your critique on a positive note.
  • While receiving critique, don’t interrupt and don’t defend your work.
  • Don’t interrupt another member’s critique. This is a critique, not a debate.
  • Be polite and remember to say “thank you.”
  • Don’t hog all of the reading time.
  • Don’t hog all of the critique time.
  • Be fair and value each member’s opinion.
  • The most valuable commentary you can give a writer is to tell them how their work made you feel.
  • The next best commentary you can give a writer is what information you gathered about their story.
  • Respect everyone. Demean no one.

It is not required that you join RMFW to join a critique group. However, we urge you to consider all the benefits of being a member of RMFW.

A word on audition groups: In certain groups, you may be asked to submit work before being allowed to join the group. If an audition group is of interest to you, don’t let this aspect intimidate you. Oftentimes it is simply a way to predetermine if a member will be a good fit. Contact the group leader and you will most often find them to be quite receptive and inviting. Don’t automatically assume that an audition-only group is an elite group of award-winning authors who would look down their noses at your work.

If a member exhibits disruptive, rude, or dangerous behavior, typically the critique leader has the authority to ask that member to leave the critique group, either for a specified cooling off time or permanently. If this happens, the group leader should notify the critique chair so that other critique leaders and RMFW board members can be made aware of the situation. In light of current events, take dangerous behavior seriously and don’t hesitate to call the police if you feel you or anyone in your group might be in a threatening situation.

Most importantly, embrace all the benefits a critique group offers to your development as a writer.

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Claudia Looi

Touring the Top 10 Moscow Metro Stations

By Claudia Looi 2 Comments

Komsomolskaya metro station

Komsomolskaya metro station looks like a museum. It has vaulted ceilings and baroque decor.

Hidden underground, in the heart of Moscow, are historical and architectural treasures of Russia. These are Soviet-era creations – the metro stations of Moscow.

Our guide Maria introduced these elaborate metro stations as “the palaces for the people.” Built between 1937 and 1955, each station holds its own history and stories. Stalin had the idea of building beautiful underground spaces that the masses could enjoy. They would look like museums, art centers, concert halls, palaces and churches. Each would have a different theme. None would be alike.

The two-hour private tour was with a former Intourist tour guide named Maria. Maria lived in Moscow all her life and through the communist era of 60s to 90s. She has been a tour guide for more than 30 years. Being in her 60s, she moved rather quickly for her age. We traveled and crammed with Maria and other Muscovites on the metro to visit 10 different metro stations.

Arrow showing the direction of metro line 1 and 2

Arrow showing the direction of metro line 1 and 2

Moscow subways are very clean

Moscow subways are very clean

To Maria, every street, metro and building told a story. I couldn’t keep up with her stories. I don’t remember most of what she said because I was just thrilled being in Moscow.   Added to that, she spilled out so many Russian words and names, which to one who can’t read Cyrillic, sounded so foreign and could be easily forgotten.

The metro tour was the first part of our all day tour of Moscow with Maria. Here are the stations we visited:

1. Komsomolskaya Metro Station  is the most beautiful of them all. Painted yellow and decorated with chandeliers, gold leaves and semi precious stones, the station looks like a stately museum. And possibly decorated like a palace. I saw Komsomolskaya first, before the rest of the stations upon arrival in Moscow by train from St. Petersburg.

2. Revolution Square Metro Station (Ploshchad Revolyutsii) has marble arches and 72 bronze sculptures designed by Alexey Dushkin. The marble arches are flanked by the bronze sculptures. If you look closely you will see passersby touching the bronze dog's nose. Legend has it that good luck comes to those who touch the dog's nose.

Touch the dog's nose for good luck. At the Revolution Square station

Touch the dog's nose for good luck. At the Revolution Square station

Revolution Square Metro Station

Revolution Square Metro Station

3. Arbatskaya Metro Station served as a shelter during the Soviet-era. It is one of the largest and the deepest metro stations in Moscow.

Arbatskaya Metro Station

Arbatskaya Metro Station

4. Biblioteka Imeni Lenina Metro Station was built in 1935 and named after the Russian State Library. It is located near the library and has a big mosaic portrait of Lenin and yellow ceramic tiles on the track walls.

Biblioteka Imeni Lenina Metro Station

Lenin's portrait at the Biblioteka Imeni Lenina Metro Station


5. Kievskaya Metro Station was one of the first to be completed in Moscow. Named after the capital city of Ukraine by Kiev-born, Nikita Khruschev, Stalin's successor.


Kievskaya Metro Station

6. Novoslobodskaya Metro Station  was built in 1952. It has 32 stained glass murals with brass borders.

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 5.17.53 PM

Novoslobodskaya metro station

7. Kurskaya Metro Station was one of the first few to be built in Moscow in 1938. It has ceiling panels and artwork showing Soviet leadership, Soviet lifestyle and political power. It has a dome with patriotic slogans decorated with red stars representing the Soviet's World War II Hall of Fame. Kurskaya Metro Station is a must-visit station in Moscow.

writing group critique guidelines

Ceiling panel and artworks at Kurskaya Metro Station


8. Mayakovskaya Metro Station built in 1938. It was named after Russian poet Vladmir Mayakovsky. This is one of the most beautiful metro stations in the world with 34 mosaics painted by Alexander Deyneka.

Mayakovskaya station

Mayakovskaya station

Mayakovskaya metro station

One of the over 30 ceiling mosaics in Mayakovskaya metro station

9. Belorusskaya Metro Station is named after the people of Belarus. In the picture below, there are statues of 3 members of the Partisan Resistance in Belarus during World War II. The statues were sculpted by Sergei Orlov, S. Rabinovich and I. Slonim.


10. Teatralnaya Metro Station (Theatre Metro Station) is located near the Bolshoi Theatre.

Teatralnaya Metro Station decorated with porcelain figures .

Teatralnaya Metro Station decorated with porcelain figures .

Taking the metro's escalator at the end of the tour with Maria the tour guide.

Taking the metro's escalator at the end of the tour with Maria the tour guide.

Have you visited the Moscow Metro? Leave your comment below.

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January 15, 2017 at 8:17 am

An excellent read! Thanks for much for sharing the Russian metro system with us. We're heading to Moscow in April and exploring the metro stations were on our list and after reading your post, I'm even more excited to go visit them. Thanks again 🙂

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December 6, 2017 at 10:45 pm

Hi, do you remember which tour company you contacted for this tour?

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Death of Nex Benedict did not result from trauma, police say; many questions remain

Owasso student Nex Benedict

As police continued Thursday to probe the death of an Oklahoma teen who died a day after being involved in a fight that broke out in a high school bathroom, authorities announced a preliminary autopsy showed the student's death was not the result of "trauma."

The death of Nex Benedict, 16, has prompted widespread attention and nationwide calls for schools to better protect students who may be bullied because of their gender and sexual identities. Nex, a sophomore at Owasso High School, used they/them and he/him pronouns and identified as gender expansive, an umbrella term that describes people whose gender identity expands beyond traditional gender norms, according to the National Institutes of Health .

Nex had previously been bullied because of their gender identity, friends of Nex told an advocacy group . Authorities are investigating what led up to the fight and whether Nex was targeted because of their gender identity. A police spokesperson, Nick Boatman, told NBC News investigators have reviewed a video that shows Nex before and after the fight and will release it “at some point," the outlet reported.

While the Owasso Police Department said Wednesday that Nex's death was not the result of injuries from a fight, its statement added that the findings were preliminary and investigations by the medical examiner's office and the police department remain underway. The police statement provided no additional details but said an official autopsy would later be released.

"At this time, any further comments on the cause of death are currently pending until toxicology results and other ancillary testing results are received," the police statement said. "The official autopsy report will be available at a later date."

Nex's family says though many questions remain unanswered, the facts of the case so far are troubling. They plan to conduct an independent investigation, relatives confirmed in a statement issued Wednesday. They also urged officials to "hold those responsible to account and to ensure it never happens again."

"While at Owasso High School, Nex was attacked and assaulted in a bathroom by a group of other students," the family said in a statement issued by its attorney. "A day later, the Benedict's beautiful child lost their life."

What happened to Nex Benedict? Search warrant reveals new details

A search warrant filed in the Tulsa County courts Wednesday and obtained by the Oklahoman, part of the USA TODAY network, shed new light on Nex's death and the investigation, including that a detective asked a judge for permission to look for traces of blood and other evidence at Owasso High School.

Penny Hamrick, an Owasso Police detective, wrote in the search warrant that "officers suspect foul play involved and need to initiate an in-depth investigation into the death."

According to the warrant, police were called to an Owasso hospital shortly after 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 in response to a report that Nex had been injured in a fight at school. Sue Benedict, Nex's mother, wanted to report the assault and asked police to talk with school administrators about what had happened. She did not ask officers to pursue charges against the other students at that time, Hamrick wrote.

Nex was later discharged from the hospital. But shortly before 3 p.m. the next day, Benedict called 911 to report Nex was experiencing medical issues, including shallow breathing. She told the 911 operator about the altercation at school and said Nex had hit their head on the bathroom floor, Hamrick wrote.

Emergency medical crews performed CPR on Nex and drove them to a Tulsa hospital, where they were pronounced dead around 3:30 p.m.

In the search warrant, Hamrick said police may also look through school records, including photographs, documents and attendance data. Investigators have previously said they plan to spend several days interviewing students and teachers.

FBI, homeland security investigate threat against school staffer

Since Nex's death, a barrage of threats have been made against the Owasso school district and at least one credible threat is being investigated in conjunction with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, said Lt. Nick Boatman, a spokesman for Owasso Police.

Boatman said the message that prompted federal agencies to join the investigation included a specific threat of violence against a specific individual. Boatman declined to name the person or disclose any other details about the content of the message. 

Meanwhile, Margaret Coates, the superintendent of Owasso schools, announced in an email that all district schools will have increased security.

A news story that went viral about Nex's death included allegations that teachers failed to summon medical care for the teenager after the altercation, and that Nex was so badly injured in the fight that they could not walk on their own. Police and school officials said the claims were false.

In a statement on Facebook, the Owasso Police Department said each student involved in the fight "walked under their own power to the assistant principal’s office and nurse’s office" after it was broken up. A registered nurse at the school then assessed the health of each student involved in the fight, according to police. Though she determined that "ambulance service was not required," the nurse recommended that Nex "visit a medical facility for further examination," the statement said. Nex was taken to the hospital that afternoon.

Nex Benedict was a 'wonderful child,' sister says

Questions and grief over Nex’s death – at a time when debates over gender and sexuality are becoming increasingly common at school board meetings and legislative hearings nationwide – have spread far beyond the state of Oklahoma. 

On Wednesday, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said on X that he was devastated to hear of Nex's death and said more must be done to ensure "transgender and nonbinary students feel safe in schools and in our communities"

“Violence has no place in our school,” Cardona said. “It is our responsibility to protect all students by creating spaces where they feel safe to be their true selves.”

Nex loved to draw, read and play the video games Ark: Survival Evolved and Minecraft, according to their obituary.

“They were a wonderful child, and they were important to us in ways that are really difficult to articulate at this time,” said Malia Pila, the teen’s sister, in a brief conversation with The Oklahoman, part of the USA TODAY network . “They were really great, and we are incredibly sad.”

Nex Benedict suffered bullying, friends tell advocacy group

Nicole McAfee, who leads Freedom Oklahoma, said the organization has been working with some of Nex’s friends and others in Owasso as they process their grief over Nex’s death. The group is focused on making Oklahoma a safer place for people of all genders and sexualities.

McAfee said none of Nex’s friends currently felt comfortable being quoted directly in news stories but that they reported to Freedom Oklahoma that “Nex had been bullied for their gender identity for well over a year."

Jordan Korphage, a spokesman for the school district, did not respond to questions about whether the school had received prior reports of bullying involving Nex. He also would not say what grade Nex was enrolled in or whether the school had any groups aimed at supporting students of various gender and sexual identities.

State superintendent sued over student gender change restrictions

Ryan Walters, the state's superintendent who has come under fire for his efforts to prevent students from changing their gender in school records, addressed Benedict's death at a board meeting of the Oklahoma State Board of Education.

" We've had a lot of folks that have rushed to have an opinion and judgment there in the wake of the tragedy," Walters said. "There's little information available, and there will be more that comes out over the next few weeks as law enforcement is doing their investigations."

" We need to wait for those things to be done before we pass judgment," he said.

A student filed a lawsuit against Walters and the board in December over a rule barring students in the school district from changing their recorded gender without the board's authorization.

The board temporarily approved the rule in September. A month after the lawsuit was filed, it voted to make the rule permanent . In October, Walters dismissed court ordered requests from two school districts to change the gender on students' records.

This week, attorneys for the student asked a judge to move the suit from federal to state court, where it was originally filed.

Controversial social media personality on library review panel

In January, Walters appointed Chaya Raichik , the controversial conservative social media personality behind the "Libs of TikTok" account on X, to a library review committee. The account often stokes online right-wing outrage through videos and content criticizing or deriding LGBTQ+ and trans people.

The education board told the Oklahoman that the committee's purpose is to remove "pornographic or sexualized content from public schools in the State of Oklahoma."

19th Edition of Global Conference on Catalysis, Chemical Engineering & Technology

  • Victor Mukhin

Victor Mukhin, Speaker at Chemical Engineering Conferences

Victor M. Mukhin was born in 1946 in the town of Orsk, Russia. In 1970 he graduated the Technological Institute in Leningrad. Victor M. Mukhin was directed to work to the scientific-industrial organization "Neorganika" (Elektrostal, Moscow region) where he is working during 47 years, at present as the head of the laboratory of carbon sorbents.     Victor M. Mukhin defended a Ph. D. thesis and a doctoral thesis at the Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia (in 1979 and 1997 accordingly). Professor of Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia. Scientific interests: production, investigation and application of active carbons, technological and ecological carbon-adsorptive processes, environmental protection, production of ecologically clean food.   

Title : Active carbons as nanoporous materials for solving of environmental problems

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writing group critique guidelines

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  3. The Writers' Loft: Critique Guidelines

    Tips for giving criticism Arrive with the appropriate mindset: Please arrive with the attitude that we are all here to help others (and ourselves) get to the next level in our writing. If you don't have that attitude, then this group is not for you.

  4. How to Organize a Critique Group

    Mar 21, 2021 -- 3 Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash Critique groups play an integral part in a writer's development. However, finding the ideal one isn't always easy. Maybe there aren't many options on in your area. Or the majority of the groups available are write-in style, but you're looking for feedback on your work.

  5. A Beginner's Guide to Critique Groups

    Prepare These days everyone is beyond busy. It is important to enter into a critique group prepared. There will be meetings scheduled, deadlines to reach, as well as the need to set aside time to critique others' writing. Prepare yourself for that, both mentally and logistically. Keep your calendar nearby and update it often.

  6. General Critique Group Guidelines

    1. Provide ample number of hard copies - if your group is a "homework" one. 2. Make sure your submission is free of as many typos/grammar errors as possible. Think of your critique group as a dry-run for an editor/agent, even if your pages are in the "early draft" stage. 3. Do not take the criticism personally.

  7. 5 Techniques for Managing Group Critiques

    1. Know your group, and tailor your critique sessions accordingly. It's helpful to begin each reading with a quick introduction, in which the writer is given the opportunity to communicate her needs to the group.

  8. 13 best practices for creative writing critique groups

    13 best practices for creative writing critique groups 10 July 2018 · reading time: 7 mins Editing Writing critique writing What makes a good crit group? General approach Reading out loud Pre-submission (before crit group meeting) Critiquing is a learned skill 8 Recommended Rules 5 Helpful Gudelines

  9. How to Find or Build a Strong Writers' Critique Group

    If you're looking for a critique group or new members, you not only need to know where to find writers, but also how to organize a critique group and what your responsibilities as the leader are.

  10. Writing Critique Groups: 10 Incredible Techniques for Using them to

    11 Jun 2023 Writing Critique Groups: 10 Incredible Techniques for Using them to Enhance Your Writing Skills Richard Lowe Writing 9 Comments Table of Contents The art of writing is a continuous journey of learning and growth, and one valuable tool to enhance this process is joining a writing critique group.

  11. 13 Rules for Successful Critique

    As the leader of two writers' groups for over eleven years, I've led/attended over a hundred critique sessions. While many critique sessions go as intended, I've seen some go very, very wrong. ... It's time for a new set of critique guidelines, ones that will offer clear direction leading to a better, more usable result. ...

  12. Why You Need to Recognize a Good or Bad Writer's Critique Group

    Watch on Receiving good feedback from fellow writers isn't as simple as joining a critique group. Not all critique groups are healthy or right for you and your writing, so you need to know the five signs and red flags of good and bad critique groups.

  13. 49 Places to Find a Critique Circle to Improve Your Writing

    Perfect if: You want your critique circle to operate in real-time — even if it includes folks from all over the world. 29. YeahWrite. This writing community's home page describes it as "part workshop, part competition, and all focused on getting from where you are to where you want to be as a writer.".

  14. Group Guidelines

    Guidelines for Critiquing Other Members: 1. Say something positive about the piece. Even if a piece of writing needs a lot of work, there is usually something good that can be pointed out - the nugget of a great idea, a particularly well-turned phrase, the beginnings of a good organizational structure, or a thorough understanding of the material.

  15. Guidelines for a Writing Critique Group

    Guidelines for a Writing Critique Group There are many formats in which critique groups can operate. Much of how they are run depends on the size of the group, whether they meet face to face or online, and the level of writing expertise among their members. As each group forms, the way it operates will evolve.

  16. Critique Group Guidelines

    RMFW hosts online groups as well as several groups around the front range and western slope of Colorado. As stated in these Guidelines, RMFW does not charge its members a fee for participation in critique groups. RMFW does not monitor the critique groups. Each critique group is a volunteer-led and run group and operates independently from RMFW.

  17. Critique Guidelines from The 6' Ferret Writers' Group

    Receiving Critiques How you handle critiques you receive is just as important as how you give them to others. It's perfectly natural to want to defend your work, but it isn't a healthy thing to do in a writers' group. When receiving a critique, here are a few things to bear in mind: Don't argue with someone's critique of your work.

  18. SLO NightWriters

    The premiere writing organization on the Central Coast of California. SLO NightWriters members include award winning published authors, and talented unpublished writers. Members write, critique and edit all genres, including fiction, non-fiction, literary, mainstream, screenwriting, technical writing, poetry, magazine articles and newspaper columns.

  19. PDF Writers' CRITIQUE GROUP GUIDELINES for face-to-face groups

    Writers' CRITIQUE GROUP GUIDELINES for face-to-face groups THE PURPOSE OF A CRITIQUE GROUP is to encourage each member through comments and suggestions to improve the story or article; affirm what has been written; point out areas which need to be cut, lengthened or strengthened.

  20. guelph humber creative writing

    Jump to navigation Skip to content. Search form. P&W on Facebook; P&W on Twitter; P&W on Instagram; Find details about every creative writing competition—including poetry contes

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    Biography: Victor M. Mukhin was born in 1946 in the town of Orsk, Russia. In 1970 he graduated the Technological Institute in Leningrad. Victor M. Mukhin was directed to work to the scientific-industrial organization "Neorganika" (Elektrostal, Moscow region) where he is working during 47 years, at present as the head of the laboratory of carbon sorbents.

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